Casualty toll: 85 SLA killed in Vannearikku'lam

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 September 2008, 17:14 GMT]
85 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed in Vannearikku'lam and 280 wounded in the fighting on Monday and Tuesday, according to informed sources close to the hierarchy of the Sri Lankan military. Meanwhile, Jayaratna florist, one of the leading florists in Colombo, took in charge 56 remains of SLA soldiers on Wednesday, before the 29 dead bodies handed over by the Tigers had reached Colombo. The high toll was not anticipated by the top brass of the SLA, which deployed elite Special Forces (SF) with high-powered rockets and explosives during the offensive push at Vannearikku'lam on Monday.

 Vannearikku'lam clash
LTTE fighters at Vannearikku'lam [Photo: LTTE].
Vannearikku'lam clash
Despite the losses, a group of the SLA soldiers managed to sustain one point till Wednesday night when the Tigers overran their point, according to the Sri Lankan sources.

The SLA soldiers were equipped with anti-tank rockets, high explosive anti-tank RPGs and were instructed to use extensive explosive and fire power.

However, the Tigers managed to engage in close fighting, causing heavy casualties.

LTTE laid booby traps have also caused high number of amputations and deaths among the SLA soldiers.

Despite military hospitals in south getting full of SLA soldiers with serious injuries, the Rajapaksa administration is intent on continuing the war, the sources further added.

The SLA hierarchy has instructed the field commanders to submit an in depth evaluation of the debacle at Vannearikku'lam.

On Thursday, the Sri Lankan Naval Commander, Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, in an interview to the state owned Daily News, claimed that his navy played a vital role in denying the LTTE of their supplies and noted: "if we cannot win this war at this stage, we will never win this war."

 

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