Jaffna fighting claims more
[TamilNet, Monday, 04 September 2000, 05:51 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army said today that 479 soldiers were wounded and 71 including 8 officers were killed in the fighting with the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna Sunday. Fierce fighting erupted when the SLA launched a massive operation into the eastern sector of the Jaffna town which is held by the Liberation Tigers in the early hours of the morning Sunday.
Meanwhile according to unconfirmed reports from Jaffna, more than hundred SLA soldiers had been killed until late last night in the fighting and due to counter fire by the artillery and mortar units of the Tigers. The army claimed that more than 160 LTTE troops may have been killed in the fighting.
However, a SLA press release Monday said that exact casualties suffered by the Liberation Tigers in yesterday's fighting is not known.
The fighting erupted when SLA infantry units and special forces backed by armour attempted to break out of their forward defence localities situated in Colombuthurai, Jaffna town's southeastern coastal suburb yesterday.
Simultaneously, SLA troops launched secondary operations towards Sarasalai, Madduvil and Nunavil located northwest of the Chavakachcheri town, fifteen kilometers east of Jaffna. The secondary operations were designed to disperse the LTTE force concentrations in the eastern sector of Jaffna town and thereby ease the resistance there military sources said.
The main thrust from Colombuthurai was preceded and backed by heavy barrages by the SLA's artillery guns and multi-barrel rocket launchers. Sri Lanka Air Force jets pounded suspected troop and gun positions of the Tigers east and southeast of the SLA's forward defence localities in Colombuthurai.
However, according to Sri Lankan military sources in Jaffna, the SLA troops that were attempting to advance met with heavy resistance from the Liberation Tigers during the day. Government troops were also hit by counter fire from the artillery and mortar batteries of the LTTE southeast of Jaffna town.
The secondary SLA operations launched from three directions from the area northwest of Chavakachcheri town ran into concerted resistance and counter attacks by troops of the LTTE in this sector too according to Jaffna army sources.
@@fileAccording to reports from Jaffna on Monday morning, the LTTE is firing artillery towards SLA positions behind Colombuthurai. The Jaffna Kachcheri is deserted due to the shelling. The Kachcheri (government secretariat) is situated close to the scene of fighting in the eastern suburb of the town.
Meanwhile the SLA said today that the Tigers are calling in reinforcements from the Vanni to beef up their counter operations against government positions in the eastern sector of Jaffna town.