Troop shortages force SLA search delays in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 September 2008, 17:21 GMT]
With relocation of large number of troopers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to the Northern Front Defence Line (FDL) areas and outer districts, the SLA is allegedly facing difficulties in carrying out prompt cordon and search operations in Jaffna peninsula, informed sources in Jaffna said. The search operation, following the Monday attack on the SLA by the Liberation Tigers at Maasiyappiddi in Valikaamam South West division of Jaffna district , was delayed by nearly two hours, allowing the attackers sufficient time to escape, sources added.

A unit of the SLA soldiers, on encountering some persons clad in military uniforms near a Saiva temple in Maasiyappiddi area, had tried to interrogate them, local residents said.

The attackers in military fatigue attacked the SLA soldiers and the soldiers had called for assistance from their camp, they added.

Although the SLA field bike unit arrived at the scene within a short period, the cordon and search was delayed by nearly two hours due to lack of troopers.

SLA had requested all camps located from Koozhaavadi to Chu'n'naakam, a distance of 8 km, to send five soldiers from each camp, according to sources close to SLA in Jaffna.

The soldiers assigned to the task from each of the above camps encountered difficulty in finding transport, and used vehicles belonging to residents to reach Chu'n'naakam, residents said.

SLA check posts and sentry points along several interior roads of the peninsula also remain closed recently, according to peninsula residents.

Sunday night, an SLA soldier in Thanangki'lappu camp in Thenmaraadchi was gunned down by unknown persons and his body was recovered Monday.

Meanwhile, following the Monday attack, the SLA has directed its attention to Saiva temples and the areas of their location, launching cordon and searches in many parts of the peninsula on Tuesday.

The areas close to SLA High Security Zones too have been subjected to similar search operations.

In Maasiyappiddi, where the Liberation Tigers had attacked the SLA soldiers Monday, normalcy of life has resumed on Tuesday.

 

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