Second MSR breach isolates Yakachchi - LTTE
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 April 2000, 19:07 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said Wednesday that they had overrun several Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps in their latest offensive which began in the Thenmaradchi sector of the Jaffna peninsula Tuesday and had completely cut off the SLA's base complex at Yakachchi with the capture of six kms of the A9 highway. A division of SLA troops were isolated and "in crisis" the LTTE said in a statement from its London offices.
Following is the full text of the press release:
"The LTTE combat formations scored a major military victory in the current offensive campaign in the Jaffna peninsula when they over-ran several camps and military bases of the Sri Lankan troops in the Massar and Soranpattu area between Palai and Yakachi today and took control of a vast tract of territory. Several kilometres of the A9 highway between Pallai and Yakachchi have been cut off and the Yakachchi military base is surrounded by the LTTE forces.
"Fierce fighting rages for more than 24 hours when a formidable force of the Liberation tigers consisting of several commando units with the backing of heavy artillery and mortar fire launched a massive offensive assault yesterday afternoon and continued their advance till this evening taking full control of the Massar and Soranpattu regions. Several well-entrenched military bases that formed the buffer zone of the Yakachi-elephant Pass area complex collapsed during the intense fighting last night and today.
"Reports from the fighting field confirmed that the Sri Lankan troops fled in total disarray leaving scores of dead soldiers and huge quantities of modern weapons. The LTTE fighters have destroyed several tanks and blown up ammunition dumps in the area. Six kilometres of A9 highway between Pallai and Yakachchi have been brought under the control of our fighters.
"With the fall of several well fortified military bases in its proximity and the A9 highway cut-off at two strategic locations, the Yakachchi-elephant Pass base complex is facing a serious threat. Territorially isolated, supply lines cut-off and surrounded by powerful combat formations of the LTTE on all sides, a division of Sri Lankan troops occupying the complex is in serious crisis."