Artillery fire repulsed SLA offensive - Tigers
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 September 1999, 15:39 GMT]
More than 75 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed in heavy fighting in the Mannar district on Sunday, the Liberation Tigers said today in a statement issued from their London offices. The LTTE said the SLA "suffered a serious military debacle" when the Tigers used artillery and mortar fire on advancing troops.
The LTTE said their armed units had forced the Sri Lankan troops "to withdraw in total disarray" and said they lost 27 fighters, including 12 women.
Earlier the SLA said it had suffered 50 killed and about 650 wounded, and estimated over 100 Tigers had died.
The SLA had launched a two pronged offensive in the early hours on Sunday in the Pallamadu and Periamadu areas, with aerial and artillery support, the LTTE statement said.
The LTTE had "put up heavy resistance unleashing waves of artillery and mortar fire on the advancing troops," the statement said further.
"Confronted with ferocious resistance and heavy casualties, Sri Lankan troops withdrew to their original positions leaving some of their dead soldiers and heavy weaponry in the battlefield," the statement added.