Tigers raise flag at Oddusuddan
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 November 1999, 21:55 GMT]
The Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio said this evening that the Liberation Tigers raised the LTTE flag in the newly captured town of Oddusuddan at 12.30 p.m. today, having overrun the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) complex of which the town was a part. Meanwhile LTTE sources in London told TamilNet that fighting continued in jungle areas adjacent to the town.
According to the VoT, the Tigers have captured a large haul of arms and ammunition, including armoured vehicles. However it did not give further details.
Hundreds of bodies of Sri Lankan government troops recovered by the Tigers will be handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) tomorrow the radio further said.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka Army sources said tonight that their troops have suffered heavy casualties. They said an estimated 800 troops have been either killed or wounded or reported missing.
The sources said the Liberation Tigers had launched a massive assault on SLA positions in Oddusuddan after destroying forward defence line in Nedunkerny, south of Oddusuddan. No further details were available, they said
Oddusuddan, described as a strategic town given its proximity to the LTTE heartland of Mullaitivu, was captured by the SLA on December 11 last year in Operation Rivi Bala.
Over 15 thousand civilians were displaced when the SLA troops the launched the operation to capture the town.
LTTE sources in London said many of the former residents were returning to the town and helping with the collection of scattered military equipment and weapons.
The sources also said that fighting continued in areas adjacent to the town where hundreds of SLA troops had withdrawn to during the intense fighting earlier.
“Our fighters are continuing mopping up operations,” the sources said without giving details.