Tigers shell Batticaloa army HQ

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
More than sixteen Sri Lankan soldiers were injured this morning around 7.45 a.m when the Liberation Tigers launched a long range heavy mortar attack on the Third Brigade headquarters in the Batticaloa town.

The attack came from Paduvankarai - the vast western hinterland of district across the Batticaloa lagoon.

Sources said the LTTE fire also hit the Sri Lanka air force base on the northern edge of the town injuring an ex-Tamil militant working there.

The condition of six soldiers injured in the attack on the Third Brigade is serious. They have been temporarily admitted to the Batticaloa general hospital.

There is a delay in airlifting the wounded to Colombo and Polannaruwa due the threat to SLAF flights landing in the Batticaloa air base. The casualty evacuation may hence begin later in the day said sources.

map_sri_lanka.gifThe LTTE's mortar fire went on for about an hour. Sources in Batticaloa said that about twenty five 120 mm heavy mortar rounds were fired on the Third Brigade and two more on the SLAF base.

The Sri Lankan army let lose a volley of 75 rounds of heavy artillery in the direction of Kannankudah across the lagoon in retaliation. Civilian casualties are bound to be high in that area as a result of this retaliatory attack said a resident.

The Batticaloa town emptied before the attack and counter attack stopped around 10 a.m.

Some members of the EPRLF who staged a token satyagraha on the eastern side of the town by the statue of Mahathma Gandhi today were left in the lurch as people and school children fled the area.

 

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