Elephant Pass "under seige"
[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 December 1999, 15:40 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said tonight their forces were laying siege to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) base complex at Elephant Pass, having launched a multi-pronged assault in the region. In a statement from its London offices, the LTTE denied SLA claims that 200 Tigers had been killed, and said it had lost 15 fighters so far.
The text of the LTTE press release follows:
"In a daring military campaign the LTTE fighting formations made a multi-pronged attack today on several sectors around the Elephant Pass military complex situated on the strategically important causeway linking Jaffna Peninsula to the mainland."
"Heavy fighting is raging in the area as LTTE fighting units penetrated the Sri Lankan army defence lines at Kaddaikadu, Pullaveli, Vettilaikerni and Kilali and laid siege around Elephant Pass military complex."
"The LTTE forces are pounding the Elephant Pass base complex with artillery and mortar. This heavily fortified base complex houses the headquarters of the Sri Lankan army's 54 Division."
"After a respite in the fighting due to the celebrations of Heroes' Day, the LTTE's military thrust 'Unceasing Waves 3' began in the early hours this morning and continues ferociously."
"The LTTE wishes to deny categorically the Government's claim that over two hundred of our cadres have been killed at Vettilaikerni."
"This is a part of the malicious disinformation campaign of the Sri Lankan government to prop up the declining morale of the Sinhala soldiers and to cheat the Sinhala populace."
"Fifteen of our fighters have been killed in the fighting so far."”