SLA, Tigers skirmish near gateway base
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 March 2000, 11:59 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka army clashed in several places to the east and north of the Elephant Pass base yesterday according to military sources in Jaffna. They said that troops had fired on a bunker line of the LTTE at Uduththurai and had engaged in a fire-fight with the Tigers at Vaththirayan yesterday.
Uduththurai and Vaththirayan are adjacent coastal villages east of the Elephant Pass base. The Tigers captured most of the southern sector of this coast in December last year.
Despite several attempts by the SLA since last week to retake this area with its special forces units spearheading operations, the Tigers appear to be entrenched in Uduththurai and the coast to its south, including Vettilaikerni. They are also dug into many parts to the north and northeast of the Elephant Pass base.
Skirmishes between the SLA and the Tigers occur almost daily ahead of each other's defences in these areas. The SLA says it needs more troops to completely clear these key sectors to the east and north-east of Elephant Pass which are vital to the long term defence of this sprawling garrison.
Yesterday, the SLA and the Tigers skirmished at Thadduvankoddy, another forward sector of the Elephant Pass base. The army said that the Tigers had fired grenades on its units and at least one LTTE trooper may have been killed in the confrontation.