MSR remains breached
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 March 2000, 09:48 GMT]
The Main Supply Route (MSR) on the A9 highway (Kandy Road) to the Sri Lanka army (SLA) base complexes in Elephant Pass and Iyakkachchi remains cut off between Eluthumaddvaal and Pallai sources in Jaffna said. The Uthayan, the Tamil daily published in Jaffna, quoting Sri Lankan military sources, said that the army is continuing its attempt to bridge the gap in the MSR, breached and held by the Liberation Tigers from early Monday.
The Tigers are holding a section of the MSR at Inthirapuram, a village by the A9 between Eluthumadduvaal and Pallai and have blasted the recently repaired Aanaivilunthaan culvert on the highway near Iththavil north of Pallai SLA sources in the north said.
The SLA is currently using the interior road through Puloppalai to the west of the A9 to keep the line of communication open between Jaffna and the large garrisons at Elephant Pass and Iyakkachchi sources said. Operation Yarl Devi, the ambitious offensive launched by the SLA in 1993 to capture Kilaly, was launched on this route.
The Tigrs have landed troops from the mainland on the Jaffna lagoon coast south of Kilaly and are attempting to overwhelm army positions from there sources said. The SLA, however, claimed that troops had beaten back several attempts by the LTTE to do so.
An official held up in Pallai due to the fighting who was contacted by phone said that the SLA was not present in the town and that it was deserted as all residents kept indoors.
The army is not letting anyone pass beyond Mirusuvil on the A9 from this morning said the Tamilnet's Jaffna correspondent who went to the area today. The SLA allowed people to go as far as Muhamaalai until yesterday he said. Muhamaalai is further south of Mirusuvil on the A9 highway, in the direction of Pallai.