Costly SLA operation back to square one
[TamilNet, Monday, 04 September 2000, 20:18 GMT]
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have repulsed a major offensive launched by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the Jaffna peninsula killing at least 150 soldiers and injuring over one-thousand, said official LTTE sources in London.
According to the sources 60 Liberation Tigers were killed in the heavy fighting Sunday and Monday.
The SLA operation to advance towards areas held by the Tigers in the eastern outskirts of Jaffna town was called off amidst stiff resistance by the Tigers, military sources said. However, Sri Lanka Air Force jets continued to pound LTTE defences in the eastern suburbs of the town until noon Monday, sources added.
Military sources said that the operation was aimed at securing the eastern flank of the town in time for the elections by destroying the forward defence positions of the LTTE in this sector.
Sri Lankan Government's Special Media Information Centre stated in a press release this afternoon that 43 soldiers were killed in the fighting, bringing the total number to 114, including eight officers.
The army suffered a large number of casualties in the Sarasalai-Madduvil sector northwest of Chavakachcheri town TamilNet sources in Jaffna said. According to an unconfirmed report, the SLA had removed the bodies of more than 100 soldiers killed in this sector with the assistance of some civilians in the Kapputhu village, north of Kodikamam.
The road from Kodikamam to Pt.Pedro through Varani remained closed today due to the fighting north of Chavakachcheri sources said.
Meanwhile, the SLA has banned all sea fishing off the coast in Vadamaradchi north and Vadamaradchi east until further notice sources said.