Tigers step up counter fire on SLA
[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 April 2001, 13:21 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers directed heavy mortar and artillery counter barrages on the positions the SLA is trying to consolidate in the Muhamalai-Eluthumadduval sector in Jaffna Thursday. Civilian flights from Jaffna to Colombo operated by a company owned by the Sri Lanka Air Force was cancelled Thursday afternoon, sources in Jaffna said. Passengers who went to board the AN-28 at the Palaly military base this afternoon were turned back. "The SLAF is in urgent need of more flights for casualty evacuation and logistical runs", a member of a Tamil group working with the Sri Lanka army in Jaffna said. The state owned Sri Lanka broadcasting corporation called on civilians Thursday morning to donate blood for the wounded soldiers. Hospital sources in Colombo confirmed that at least 1100 wounded SLA soldiers have been flown out of Jaffna for treatment in civilian hospitals in the southern parts of the island, including the capital.
Sources in Jaffna said that the Liberation Tigers stepped up counter attacks along the Nagar Kovil-Eluthumadduval-Kilali axis this afternoon. ěThe Sri Lanka Air Force is working round the clock to deal with the situationî, a military source in Jaffna said.
Meanwhile, the SLA handed over the seven bodies to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital Thursday afternoon. The ICRC is yet to confirm with the LTTE about the identity of the bodies.
The Tamileela Vaanoli, the commercial broadcast of the Voice of Tigers said that two civilians were killed and one seriously wounded when shells fired by the SLA hit the village of Sellaiahtheevu in Pooneryn Wednesday around 11 a.m. The radio said that S. Jeyakumar, 20, was blown to pieces when shells exploded on his house. Another youth, N. Baskaran was also killed. Bursting shells blew off the leg of a farmer, K. Nadarajah, the radio said.
The SLAF owned Heli-tours Company operates two flights a day for civilian passengers between Jaffna and Colombo.