5TH LEAD

Sri Lanka steps up offensive on Vaharai

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 08:35 GMT]
Heavy casualties were reported in fresh fighting as Sri Lankan armed forces launched a three pronged ground offensive towards Panichchankerni, south of Vaharai, towards Eachilampattu and Uppooral in the north. 12 Tiger fighters were killed and 7 wounded according to LTTE Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan who also claimed more than 40 SLA troopers were killed. Meanwhile Sri Lankan military sources in Colombo claiming to have inflicted a heavy casualty, more than 30, on the Tigers said 4 Sri Lankan troopers were killed, inclduing an officer and 20 wounded.

A SLA Captain and a Lieutenant were among the wounded rushed to Polonnaruwa hospital, according to military sources in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Army with paramilitary personnel, Sri Lanka Air Force and the Sri Lanka Navy were engaged in the fresh offensive launched at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Heavy fighting was reported a few hundred meters away from the Panichchankerni bridge and at Eachilampattu 9 km north of Kathiraveli.

Tigers said they had blocked the Sri Lankan military from entering into LTTE territory Tuesday evening.

Sri Lankan Air Force also bombed Kathiravely, north of Vaharai, Mr. Ilanthirayan said. Kfir bombers had bombed civilian targets on three sorties, he said.

In October, a Sri Lanka Army Major, who led led 400 SLA troopers and 80 paramilitary personnel into Tiger territory, was killed in Panichchankerni area.

Sri Lankan forces have been engaged in a war against the Tigers in the besieged Vaharai region since September last year with repeated ground offensives deploying superior firepower, SLAF airstrikes and artillery barrages, targeting civilian IDP refuges in an attempt to evict the Tamils from Vaharai region and capture the territory from the Tigers.

15000 civilians are denied food by the military obstruction of transport of humanitarian supplies to Vaharai.

The last SOS call urging humanitarian supplies for civilians from Vaharai was made by the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation, a week ago.


Chronology:


Related Articles:
11.01.07   Vaharai tragedy
08.01.07   TRO urges GoSL to guarantee security of humanitarian workers
07.01.07   SOS from Vaharai
01.01.07   Battle for Vaharai
08.10.06   Dead body of Mankerni SLA Major located in Panichchankerni

 

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