SLA troopers feared killed in Thenmaraadchi artillery exchange

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 July 2007, 14:49 GMT]
Several Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers are feared killed and many injured during sustained exchanges of artillery fire across Thenmaraadchi Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) between the Liberation Tigers and the SLA during Thursday, Friday and Saturday, informed sources in Jaffna said. Sri Lanka Military has not officially released casualty figures but sources said many bodies have been transferred from Palaali to Colombo during the three days, and several troops have been admitted to the Palaali Military hospital.

SLA casualties were caused by several LTTE fired artillery shells falling within central locations within SLA camps in Ezhuthumadduvaal, Usan and Mirusuvil, according to sources.

Meanwhile, reports from Jaffna say Sri Lanka Military is conducting war exercises on the eastern side of Palaali High Security Zone (HSZ). Sounds of explosions and gunfire were heard near areas surrounding Thondamaanaaru and Vazhalaai from early morning 1:00 a.m. for more than an hour according to reliable sources.

Sri Lanka Palaali command had ordered electricity cut-off to Jaffna peninsula for nearly three hours during the war-exercise, residents there said.

Further, SLA construction crew are making urgent rehabilitation of the Thondamannaar bridge to facilitate easy movement of military hardware to eastern front lines from Palaali, sources in Jaffna said. The bridge that passes over Thondamannaar lagoon was destroyed during 1987 SLA offensives preventing easy access to Palaali and Vazhalaai areas from the eastern side of the Peninsula from Valvettiththurai to Point-Pedro and eastern shores.

The bridge will enable SLA to transport military hardware to eastern FDLs directly via the northern coastal road from Thondamannaaru to Valvettiturai, Point-Pedro.

Without the bridge, the SLA is forced to use the circuitous route from Naakarkoayil, Manthikai, Nelliyadi, Karaveddi, Vallai, Atchuvealy to reach Palalali.


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