Kilinochchi base captured - LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 September 1998, 19:47 GMT]
The Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio said this evening that the LTTE had taken 'complete control' of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) base at Kilinochchi following heavy fighting over the past two days. The Tigers have recovered the bodies of hundreds of SLA troops the radio said.

SLA defence lines and bunkers in the Kilinochchi base had been completely destroyed in the assault, the radio said.

The SLA artillery positions and armouries at the Elephant Pass Base and Iyakachchi were also destroyed by the Tigers, said the radio.

SLA reinforcements from the Elephant Pass and Paranthan SLA bases which had rushed to rescue the Kilinochchi base had also come under heavy Tiger attack and been forced to withdraw, the radio added.

Three SLA tanks which had supported the reinforcements had been destroyed in the fighting, the radio said. Two were destroyed by the Tigers, and the third by retreating SLA troops, the radio said.

The radio said 26 Tigers were killed in the first day of the fighting and 57 in the second.

Hundreds of SLA troops had been wounded in the past two days, it added.

The territory which had been captured by the SLA in August 1996 had fallen to the Liberation Tigers in this attack, the second big assault on the Kilinochchi base, said the radio.

The base, which encompasses Kilinochchi town, was attacked by the LTTE in February this year. The LTTE captured the southern areas of the town in that assault.

The latest assault was larger in scale than that on the SLA base at Mullaitivu, said the radio.

The Mullaithivu base was overrun by the Liberation Tigers in July 1996. Over 1000 SLA soldiers were killed in that attack.

A large ammunition dump within the Elephant Pass base, several miles to the north was burning furiously, the radio said.

Meanwhile, the SLA has remained tight-lipped about the situation in the region today while reports about heavy losses sustained by Sri Lankan troops continued to emanate from the north.

A press communiquŽ issued by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence (MoD) this afternoon, however, said "Sporadic confrontations are being reported at present", adding that "LTTE has confirmed 194 of their cadres killed. A total of 43 soldiers were killed and 110 wounded during these confrontations."

Sources close to the LTTE in Europe when contacted by TamilNet tonight said that, according to unconfirmed reports they had received, the bodies of up to a thousand SLA troops had been recovered from the Kilinochchi base.

 

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