Doubts over SLA claims
[TamilNet, Monday, 02 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Tamil Eelam Radio, the commercial broadcast of the Voice of Tigers, said in its evening broadcast today that the fighting in the Paranthan Kilinochchi area continues to rage for the second day. Hence, no clear details of the battle are available as yet it said. The Radio said that the SLAF is continuing with retaliatory strikes against civilian targets in the Vanni today.
Meanwhile, telephone lines to Jaffna were cut off after the LTTE knocked out a communications relay tower at Elephant Pass base last evening.
Heavy fighting was reported in the Murasumoddai area six kilometers east of Paranthan last night.
Some army sources in Vavuniya suggested that the fighting may last for another day or two and that the Tigers might have removed a quantity of weapons.
The army, however, officially claimed that there are only groups of Tigers in the Kilinochchi sector now which are firing sporadically.
But a well informed military analyst in Colombo said that if the situation in the area is completely under the army's control then it would have collected the dead bodies of the Tigers by now.
He also pointed out that if the LTTE had lost 218 troops in the first phase of the attack it would have been a massive set back for the organisation which, hence, should have retreated by now.
He questioned the possibility of LTTE groups continuing with the fighting in the area in the context of the army's claims today.