2ND LEAD

SLA offensive thwarted, civilians saved - LTTE

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 March 2007, 18:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troopers who had taken more than 120 civilians as "human shields" against Tiger artillery fire and advanced into Liberation Tigers territory in Vavuniya-Mannar border Friday morning were forced to pull back their soldiers from Thampanai and Sinna Pandivirichchan at around 10:30 p.m after 15 hours of heavy fighting Friday. Liberation Tigers officials said they had defeated the two pronged offensive, without harming the civilians who were in the hands of the SLA. Around 60 SLA soldiers were killed, the Tigers claimed. Official figures from Colombo released Saturday said 14 soldiers were killed and 42 wounded.



The SLA soldiers were forced to flee the battlefield with tractor loads of dead bodies, the Tiger officials said.

Tigers said they lost 6 fighters.

2000 families are displaced from their villages east of Madu towards Iluppaikkaikkadavai, Vellankulam, Jeyanthinagar and Kilinochchi, according to local NGO officials.


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