Heavy fighting again in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 April 2000, 06:35 GMT]
Heavy fighting broke out this morning in Jaffna's southern sector between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka army (SLA). Residents in Mirusuvil, a village by the A9 highway southeast of Chavakachcheri, said that both sides are bombarding each other's positions with heavy volumes of mortar and artillery fire since morning.

The SLA's operation to regain more than four kilometers of the Main Supply Route to the Elephant Pass base, code named 'Welikathra', met with heavy resistance when a fresh attempt was made yesterday to advance towards Muhamaalai where the Tigers have constructed heavily fortified positions.

The SLA lost an additional kilometer of territory ahead of Muhamaalai in a fierce counter attack by the Tigers against the advancing columns of Operation Welikathara (Desert in Sinhala) yesterday said sources. Sri Lankan military sources in Jaffna denied this, claiming that the operation was on but the pace was very slow due to barrages by the LTTE.

Meanwhile, the Voice of Tigers (VoT) said in its morning news broadcast that LTTE troops have recovered ten more bodies of SLA soldiers killed in the counter attack on Operation Welikathara yesterday, bringing the total number of bodies of soldiers collected in the Muahamaalai battle field since Monday to sixty.

The radio said that the troops of Operation Unceasing Waves III are pushing further into the Jaffna peninsula and that LTTE's Special Border Force and the Border Force are playing a key role in the offensive.

The Special Border Force and the Border Force are specially trained civilian militias raised by the Tigers in large numbers last year. The two units are engaged mainly in the logistical work of Operation Unceasing Waves III sources in Jaffna said.

 

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