Heavy fighting near Mannar MSR
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 August 2000, 06:13 GMT]
Heavy fighting erupted from the early hours of Tuesday morning in Uyilankulam, about 10 kilometers east of Mannar, when the Liberation Tigers launched an assault on the forward defence lines of the Sri Lankan security forces. Police sources in Mannar town told TamilNet that fighting continued in the area until 10 a.m.
The Sri Lanka army's 21-2 brigade headquarters at Thallady near Mannar town cancelled all transport to and from the island until further notice, giving rise to speculation that the Tigers may have temporarily interdicted the Main Supply Route to the region at Uyilankulam.
The LTTE fired several rounds of artillery on the SLA's Thallady base from around 7.10 a.m. sources said. The SLA too has opened up with heavy artillery and mortar towards the LTTE's positions and towards the sea coast immediately north of the Mannar island in the morning. Casualties of the fighting are not known yet sources said.
A Police official in Mannar town claimed that the security forces have repulsed the attack.
Uyilankulam is a key junction on the Main Supply Route to the Mannar island from Vavuniya and Medawachchiya. The MSR to Mannar was captured from the Liberation Tigers by the Sri Lanka army in early 1997.
The forward defence lines at Uyilankulam are manned by the SLA and units of military trained Police and commandos of the Special Task Force.