Tigers say moving south

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 November 1999, 12:43 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers have captured Mankulam town and are sweeping southwards along the A9 highway, the LTTE said in a press release from its London offices today. The Tigers say they captured Karupaddamurippu military base and Olamadu Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp earlier today.

Extracts from the press release follow:

"Mankulam town heavily fortified and strategically situated on the A9 highway, 30 kilometers from Vavuniya, fell to the LTTE after several hours of intensive fighting which began in the early hours of this morning."

map_ottisuddan_1.gif"Unable to confront the fierce onslaught of the LTTE fightersÖ the Sri Lankan military personnel who manned the military complex at Mankulam fled in total disarray."

"In the early hours of the morning today Karupaddamurippu military base and Olamadu army camp fell to the LTTE after twenty-four hours of intense fighting. The fall of these strategically located towns sealed the fate of the garrison town of Mankulam which was exposed to LTTE offensive thrust from the east, west and north."

"With the fall of Mankulam, the LTTE fighting formations are sweeping southwards along the A9 highway pounding heavy artillery and mortar fire on Sri Lankan defense positions at Kanagarayankulam and Pulliyakulam."

"Surprised and demoralised by the swift and ferocious offensive thrust by the LTTE in which strategically crucial towns are falling one after the other, the Sri Lankan troops are fleeing towards Vavuniya deserting their posts."

"Over one thousand troops have been killed and double that number injured during the last four days of heavy fighting."

"82 LTTE fighters have been killed so far."

"Hundreds of dead bodies of soldiers are scattered in the battlefields at Mankulam, Olamadu, Karupuddamurippu and Ampakamam."

"Since the Sri Lankan military establishment and the State have, for political reasons, refused permission to the ICRC to accept the bodies of demised soldiers, the LTTE fighters have been cremating the dead soldiers with military honors."


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