New advances in Jaffna -LTTE
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 May 2000, 19:38 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said Wednesday they are advancing into the Navatkuli, Ariyalai and Thanankillapu areas in the outskirts of Jaffna town, following fierce fighting with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). A 2km stretch of the A9 highway, inclusive of the Navatkuli bridge, had come under the LTTE's control, the organisation said in a press release from its London offices Wednesday night. LTTE troops have also advanced 2km into the Thanankillapu area and occupied Maniyanthoddan in the Ariyalai sector, the statement said.
Following is the full text of the statement:
"In a meticulously planned lightening offensive operation the combat formations of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) captured vital strategic locations in the proximity of the Jaffna town today posing a serious threat to the Sri Lankan government troops occupying the peninsula.
"In a multi-pronged offensive thrust the Tamil Tiger commando units stormed into the Sri Lankan army's defence positions in the early hours of the morning at Navatkuli, Ariyalai and Thanankillapu villages in the outskirts of the Jaffna town inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy forces.
"A two-kilometre stretch of A9 highway (Kandy Road) inclusive of the strategically important Navatkuli bridge has come under the control of the LTTE fighters.
"At Thanankillappu, the LTTE fighting units have advanced 2 kilometres interior and have launched a massive assault on the main Sri Lankan military base at Kovilkandy junction. At Ariyalai the advancing Tiger troops have occupied Maniyanthoddan after chasing away a detachment of government troops stationed there.
"The fighting that flared up in the early hours of the morning in the three sectors continued late last night. Hundreds of troops have been killed and injured, a tank destroyed and armoured vehicles damaged in the heavy fighting.
"In the meantime the LTTE has called upon the Tamil civilians residing close to battle areas to move to safer areas and the people are responding.
"The fall of Navatkuli bridge and the de-linking of the A9 highway have generated severe logistic problems to the thousands of Sri Lankan troops occupying Thenmarachchi division of the Jaffna peninsula. The army has moved reinforcements and heavy fighting is still raging in that area."