Tigers hit Valaichenai SLA camps
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
SLA troops are still clearing the area where the Liberation Tigers overran and burnt the Vaakaneri army camp, eight kilometers west of Valaichenai. Army sources in Batticaloa said that more than forty soldiers were wounded in the attack and eight bodies of those killed in the attack have been recovered until this afternoon.
Several SLA soldiers who had decamped when the LTTE attacked the camp found
thier way to the Valaichenai fisheries harbour camp later today. The wounded soldiers are being sent to the Pollannaruwa hospital, said sources close to the army.
The Liberation Tigers had simultaneously attacked with heavy mortars the main Valaichenai SLA camp, the Navalady camp, the Valaichenai fisheries harbour camp and the Muruthanai detachment in the interior to the south of the Batticaloa-Pollannaruwa road which is the district's Main Supply Route.
This is the first time that the LTTE has overrun one of the numerous camps which the SLA has set up to hold on to the main supply route (MSR) to the Batticaloa district.
The MSR to the Batticaloa district runs west to east from Polannaruwa to Valaichenai through a vast region held by the LTTE. The army has camps at intervals of 2-3 kilometers on this road.
The MSR is vital for holding the district in that the supplies and reinforcements for the army in Batticaloa have to come along this road.
The road has become almost indispensable in recent times following the cancellation of Sri Lankan airforce flights to the region.
This followed intelligence reports that the LTTE had moved anti-aircraft missiles to the eastern province.