Heavy casualties in Jaffna battle
[TamilNet, Monday, 18 September 2000, 12:24 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troop column in Chavakachcheri suffered heavy casualties when it was intercepted and attacked by the Liberation Tigers Sunday, sources in Jaffna said. The SLA has withdrawn to Sankathanai, the sources added.
According to the sources, over one hundred SLA troops were killed and many more wounded when troops who entered the outskirts of Chavakachcheri Sunday attempted to move deeper into the town, which was abandoned by residents early this year ahead of fierce fighting in the region. The clash occurred near Chavakachcheri hospital, the reports said.
Sounds of heavy artillery and mortar fire continued through out Monday morning in the Thenmaradchi sector the sources said.
The SLA launched a major thrust towards Chavakachcheri through Sankathanai on the A-9 highway Saturday. The SLA said Sunday it had captured Chavakachcheri, but last night LTTE sources in London said heavy fighting was raging in the outskirts of the town where SLA troops were meeting fierce resistance from the Tigers.
SLA officials in Colombo said Monday that the troops have repulsed the LTTE's counter offensive. SLA spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said the LTTE has suffered heavy casualties. The LTTE has not officially commented on the fighting.