MoD reiterates claim
[TamilNet, Monday, 12 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lankan army sources in Vavuniya reiterated today that a group of special commandos had broken through the defences of the Liberation Tigers at Kanakarayan Kulam yesterday.
A soldier of the Gemunu Watch (an infantry battalion of the SLA) identified as Premachandra was seriously injured while setting a claymore mine during the operation and another soldier named Raveendra Rupasinghe was also wounded. They have been flown to Anuradhapura said the army sources in Vavuniya.
Sources close to the SLA in Vavuniya were skeptical about the army's claims, noting that numerous previous onslaughts against the town had failed.
They said it might have been the case that small units of SLA troops had forayed briefly into LTTE-held areas around Kanakarayam Kulam, adding that both sides routinely carried out such operations.
Meanwhile the Lankadeepa, the independent Sinhala daily with the largest circulation in the island, said today that the junction was captured by afternoon yesterday.
It did not elaborate on the nature of the operation.
The SLA has been fighting for almost nine months to capture this highway, sustaining heavy losses.