Intensive search operations in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 November 1998, 12:06 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) stepped up pre-emptive search operations in the Vadamaradchi and Thenmaradchi divisions of the Jaffna peninsula amidst speculation that the Liberation Tigers might launch attacks to mark the 'Maaveerar' (Heroes) Week which culminates tomorrow.

The SLA considers the two regions particularly vulnerable to offensives by the Tigers who dominate the region beyond Elephant Pass, the narrow strip of land that links the peninsula and to the mainland.

Posters put up by the Liberation Tigers and their supporters for the Maaveerar week in Manalkaadu, Amban, Vilaankaadu further heightened the tension among the SLA troops in Vadamaradchi east.

The troops have been apprehensive since the second week of this month about the LTTE's military intentions during the Maaveerar week from 24 to 27.

Cordon and search operations have been carried out widely in many parts of the two divisions since yesterday.

A large number of troops from the Nagar Kovil army camp began moving towards Maamunai around 8 a.m. in the morning.

The villages of Kudarappu, Solan Kudiyiruppu and Sempiyanpattu were searched by the SLA while civilians travelling on the Pt. Pedro -Maruthankerni road were detained and interrogated by the army at Punnaiyadi in Vadamaradchi east for four hours.

The SLA also rounded up and searched Kerudavil and Valvettithurai in Vadamaradchi and two interior hamlets in Thenmaradchi. The army launched a surprise search operation in the latter said residents.

 

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