Jaffna fighting seen spreading
[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 December 1999, 15:33 GMT]
Fighting was taking place in the Elephant Pass area, as the Liberation Tigers continued their Operation 'Unceasing Waves-3', said the Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio today. Meanwhile, both the LTTE and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) were reported to be moving reinforcements to the area.
Residents in the Jaffna peninsula who moved this weekend to areas away from the spreading fighting said LTTE troops were taking up positions in new areas of the Jaffna peninsula, including the Vadamaradchi East region.
The Tigers have asked the people at Thalayadi and Maruthankerni areas in Vadamaradchi East to move further up the coast to Nagarkovil village for their safety, residents said this morning.
The LTTE has advised them they can also go south to Vettrilaikerni and Kaddaikadu areas which are under their control, residents said.
They said the Liberation Tigers were this morning firing artillery from Pooneryn and Kerathivu areas towards SLA positions in the peninsula.
Sri Lankan defence sources said Kfir ground attack jets of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) was conducting bombing raids in the Pooneryn and Kerathive areas.
Residents also said large numbers of SLA troops have withdrawn from camps in the Valikamam sector, and are thought to have been sent to the Elephant Pass area.
SLA troops in large number now have taken up positions at Palai, 25 miles south of Jaffna town, sources there said.
Sri Lankan defence sources say the SLA was sending extra troops and ammunition, including artillery and mortar rounds, to the Elephant Pass base complex. Residents reported SLA lorries and tractor-trailers moving towards the south of the peninsula.