Fall of Yakachchi "imminent" - LTTE

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 April 2000, 15:20 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) base at Yakachchi is "on the verge of collapse" following a multi-pronged assault by the Liberation Tigers in which several peripheral camps were overrun, the LTTE said in a statement issued from its London offices Thursday.

Following is the full text of the statement:

"Yakachchi militay complex collapsing: Sri Lankan army faces serious debacle

"Yakachchi military base, the last bastian protecting the Elephant Pass Camp, is on the verge of collapse as the combat formations of the Liberation Tigers mounted a massive, multi-pronged assault and over-ran several mini-camps and defence positions on the periphery of this giant complex today.

"A large number of Sri Lankan troops were killed and injured as the battle of Yakachchi continued ferociously all day. Dark black clouds enveloped the sky above the base complex as huge ammunition dumps exploded after being hit by the heavy artillery and mortar fire from the LTTE positions.

"Yakachchi base complex was isolated and surrounded when the LTTE forces over-ran Massar and Soranpattu areas yesterday and cut off the main supply links with the rest of the peninsula including the rail tracks and gravel lanes. Having pounded the base complex with artillery and mortar bombardment for several hours, LTTE commando units stormed into the peripheral camps this evening. Heavy fighting is still raging in the area.

"The fighting in the Thenamarachchi sector, which began at 1 p.m on the 18th of this month, continued for the third day today. Large tracts of territory between Elephant Pass and Pallai have already fallen to the Tamil Tigers. The fall of Yakachchi camp complex, that seems to be imminent, will seal the fate of Elephant Pass and open the gateway to Jaffna.

 

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