SLA starts operation towards Madhu

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 1999, 06:51 GMT]
The SLA began an operation towards Madhu this morning, sources in Vavuniya said. The operation was launched from army positions at Madhu Road Junction on the Mannar Vavuniya road this morning they said.

The offensive, according to them, appears to be aimed at capturing the Madhu area which is currently under the control control of the Liberation Tigers.

One soldier was killed and three were wounded when the LTTE tried to stall the advancing troops claimed military sources in the area.



Madhu has very large refugees population put up in temporary shelters run by international aid agencies.

Meanwhile the heavy artillery barrage on the SLA's Thallady base by the Liberation Tigers ceased around 10.20 a.m. this morning said the TamilNet's Mannar correspondent

He said that the army at the Fort in Mannar town collected hundreds of spades and other implements this morning from civilians for strengthening their defences and building new bunkers, expecting an attack by the Liberation Tigers on their detachment as well.

The army in the Fort, according to the TamilNet's Mannar correspondent, is taking precautions because it believes that the shells, which hit the Bazaar Street in the town last night, damaging two shops, were directed at it.

He said that the LTTE's artillery positions, according to the army and Police, are at Vidaththaltheevu, a promontory of the mainland north of Mannar town.

The TamilNet correspondent said that the artillery fire by the Tigers was intense from 8.30 a.m. to 9.15 a.m. this morning - with shells being hurled from Vidaththaltheevu towards Thallady every five minutes.

The Police in Mannar town said that they had no contact with the Thallady base. No wounded soldiers were brought to the base hospital in Mannar.

Four soldiers were killed and 20 were wounded in yesterday's artillery fire on the base sources said.

The wounded soldiers have been flown to Anurudhapura.

The Thallady base stands on the mainland entrance to the 3 km. causeway to the Mannnar island across the shallow sea.

The causeway leads directly to the Mannar town and fort (built originally in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese).


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