Battle for Puliyankulam continues

[TamilNet, Monday, 17 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Voice of Tigers (VOT) radio said today in its daily news bulletin, broadcast at 9 clock local time (1700 GMT) that heavy fighting had broken out between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri lankan Army yesterday, when the SLA attempted to move out of it positions in Kilinochchi.

"The LTTE launched a fierce attack on the Sri Lankan Army and forced it to retreat", said the VOT, adding "The Sri Lankan Army sustained heavy casualties".

One LTTE fighter, Arasoli (Arumugam Makenthiran, from Jaffna) died in this fighting, said the radio.

Meanwhile heavy fighting is reported in Puliyankulam.

Sources in Vavuniya said that at least 19 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and over 75 wounded in the fighting near Puliyankulam.

Unconfirmed reports had earlier suggested that the Sri Lankan army had captured the centre of Puliyankulam on Saturday.

But sources in Vavunya said that SLA had not captured Puliyankulam, but confirmed that heavy fighting was raging there.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan National Televison Cooperation announced today that the SLA had entered Puliyankulam, and that Sri Lankan Deputy Defence Minister Ratwatte had visited the town.

However the official statement from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence issued today did not claim the capture of Puliyankulam.

Meanwhile sources in Jaffna said that 3 Sri Lankan soldiers were wounded, two seriously, in a confrontation between the Liberation Tigers and the SLA near Thondamanar today.


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