6TH LEAD (Corrections, Adds photos)
SLA operation in southern front thwarted, 8 SLA bodies recovered - LTTE
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 April 2007, 06:03 GMT]
Liberation Tigers Wednesday morning said they have repulsed a fresh ground operation by the Sri Lanka Army that attempted to move towards Paalamoddai, northwest of Vavuniya, according to the Military Spokesman of the Tigers, Irasiah Ilanthirayan. SLA troopers, on retreat, have left behind their dead soldiers, arms and ammiunition, including a Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher and 15 automatic guns. Eight bodies of SLA troopers were located by the Tigers who were clearing the area, according to the latest information provided by the LTTE field officials in Vanni. The bodies are to be handed over to the ICRC.
Three LTTE fighters were killed when Tigers forces confronted the SLA, Mr. Ilanthiryan told media Wednesday morning.
The SLA had launched the operation after intensifying Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) and artillery barrage in Vavuniya Mannar border villages between Mullikkulam and Valayankaddu at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the details from the field officals of the LTTE.
Tiger commandos carried out a pre-dawn counter-operation and successfully thwarted the SLA troop movement, they added.
LTTE forces were continuing the clearing operation where one RPG, one AK LMG, one PK LMG, one T-81 rifle, one 40 mm gun, eleven T-56-2 rifles and ammunition including two boxes of rounds for PK LMGs have been seized, Tiger officials said.
One of the dead bodies was in decomposed state.