Paranthan SLA camp captured - LTTE
[TamilNet, Friday, 17 December 1999, 11:54 GMT]
The Paranthan Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp has been captured by the Liberation Tigers, the LTTE said today in a statement from its London offices. The LTTE has also captured Sri Lanka Navy bases at Kerativu and Sangupitty in Chavakacheri sector, the statement said. 78 Liberation Tigers have died in the fighting in Jaffna since the LTTE began its offensive there, the statement said.
The text of the statement follows:
"Paranthan army camp, situated strategically on the southern sector of Elephant Pass base complex, has fallen to the LTTE fighters today after intense fighting that lasted more than 24 hours."
"Paranthan junction and its surrounding areas are now under the control of the LTTE fighters."
"The battle for Paranthan began in the early hours of yesterday when the fighting formations of the Tamil Tigers launched a concerted assault on the garrison town with artillery and mortar fire."
"The LTTE fighting units, which quickly overran the front defence lines, engaged the Sri Lankan troops in fierce fighting that lasted several hours."
"Unable to withstand the fury of the Tigers' massive onslaught the Sri Lankan troops withdrew from the town in total disarray. Having inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy troops the LTTE fighters recovered vast quantities of arms, ammunition and military vehicles."
"The fall of Paranthan, the well-fortified military position guarding the southern periphery of the Elephant Pass complex, has exposed the main base to serious threat."
"In the meantime special commando units of the LTTE have overrun the naval bases at Kerativu and Sangupitty in Chavakacheri sector and recovered a huge haul of arms including sophisticated radar equipment."
"In the fighting an airforce MI 24-gunship helicopter was brought down by the Tamil guerrillas over the Kilalli lagoon."
"The LTTE fighting units have also intensified artillery and mortar attacks on the Sri Lankan army positions and artillery bases in the Thenmarachi sector of the Jaffna peninsula."
"78 LTTE cadres, including 31 women fighters have died in the current campaign to liberate the Jaffna peninsula."