Heavy casualties in Thalaiyadi battle

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 March 2000, 11:06 GMT]
Over 100 Sri Lankan Army (SLA) troops and 25 Liberation Tigers were killed when the LTTE overran the Thalaiyadi-Marunthankerni-Chempianpattu base complex Wednesday, the organisation said in a press release from its London offices. The Tigers said heavy fighting was continuing in the Pallai area where the Main Supply Route to the SLA bases at Elephant Pass and Yakachchi from the Palali base complex had been de-linked.

The text of the press release follows:

"The Sri Lankan army suffered a major debacle as the Thalaiyadi-Marunthankerni-Chempianpattu army complex, the largest and the well-fortified military base in the eastern coastal belt of Vadamarchchi fell to the combat forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam today after intense fighting."

"Contingents of special Tiger commandos, the elite units of the Liberation Tigers, who established a beachhead near Thalaiyadi coast yesterday, stormed into the base camp last night inflicting heavy casualties on the Sri Lankan troops."

"Fierce fighting erupted and continued for more than 12 hours. Overwhelmed by the ferocity of the LTTE assault the troops finally withdrew in total disarray this afternoon at 1p.m. The military complex was housing 1500 well trained troops."

"The fall of this major base camp, one of the military strongholds in the gateway to the Jaffna peninsula, poses a major threat to Vadamarachchi and some sectors of Thenmarachchi."

"Over 100 soldiers were killed and several hundreds were injured in the battle. 25 LTTE cadres were also killed in the fighting.

"The Tamil Tigers have also recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition in the base camp."

"In the meantime, fierce fighting continues for the third day today between the combat units of the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan army in the Pallai area where the Tigers have de-linked the main supply route A9 highway (Kandy Road), isolating Elephant Pass and Yakachchi base camps."

"Faced with serious logistic problems the Sri Lankan army has been making desperate efforts to dislodge the Tiger commandos who are well entrenched in this area."


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