4TH LEAD (UPDATE)
Tigers destroy SLA artillery launchpad in Vavuniyaa, 30 SLA troopers killed, 40 wounded
[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 June 2007, 07:10 GMT]
Liberation Tigers launched a commando raid Saturday night into Vavuniyaa-Mannaar border villages where the SLA had recently advanced its Forward Defence Line (FDL), LTTE Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan said. The Tigers have destroyed a SLA artillery launchpad, seized military hardware including a Buffel Armoured Personnel Carrier as they established their FDL positions in Mu'l'likku'lam and Vi'laaththikku'lam, he said. 30 SLA soldiers were killed, 15 dead bodies have been recovered by the Tigers till Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, informed military sources in Vavuniyaa confirmed that at least 20 SLA troopers were killed, 40 wounded, an ammunition dump was destroyed in Pampaimadu, and that the Tigers have seized a big haul of weapons in their raid Saturday night. Fighting is still continuing.
Heavy weapons such as Medium Machine Guns, AK-LMGs, 40 mm Grenade Launchers, 60 mm mortars were among the weapons seized by the Tigers, Ilanthiryan told media Sunday night.
One artillery battery was completely destroyed in Pampaimadu. 7 artilleries were destroyed, according to the Tiger military spokesman.
18 LTTE cadres were killed in action.
Buffel APC seized by the Tigers [Photo: LTTE]
Dead body of a SLA soldier [Photo: LTTE]
The photos issued by the LTTE to media indicate that the Tigers have recovered at least one dead SLA soldiers body.
The Tiger spokesman said the mission of their raid was succesful in restoring their FDL positions.
Medical sources said more than 40 wounded soldiers were admitted at Anuradhapura hospital from Vavuniyaa.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan military sources in Colombo have claimed SLA has inflicted heavy losses to the Tigers and said 35 SLA troopers were wounded in the attack.
According to Tiger officials, a fierce fighting was still continuing in the area where the SLA has been pushed back.
The SLA has launched an artillery barrage using Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers. Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers were also engaged in bombing suspected Tiger positions.
Tiger cadres at a SLA mortar position [Photo: LTTE]
The Tigers are yet to release details of the weapons and the military hardware seized from the SLA.
The artillery launchpad and ammunition dump at Pampaimadu were recently strengthened with the deployment of additional troops in the FDL.
This is the first time, the Tigers have breached the Sri Lankan FDL in Vavuniyaa after the resurgence of violence following the Norwegian brokered Ceasefire between the GoSL and the LTTE.
The SLA has been engaged in a protracted campaign of offensive operations into LTTE territory in Vavuniyaa Mannaar border recently.