SLA armoured thrust repulsed - LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 April 2000, 15:38 GMT]
Over one hundred Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and more than three hundred injured in the fierce fighting that erupted at Muhamalai yesterday the Liberation Tigers said in a press release issued from its London offices. The Tigers said they have destroyed 2 Tanks and damaged five others.

Following is the full text of the statement:

"A well planned offensive assault by the government troops to dislodge the combat units of the Liberation Tigers occupying a section of the A9 highway in the Thenmarachi sector of the Jaffna peninsula ended in a major disaster for the Sri Lankan army last night with heavy loss of life and the destruction of armour.

"Over one hundred Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and more than three hundred injured in the fierce fighting that erupted at Muhamalai area about fifteen kilometres from Elephant Pass. Well-armed and well-entrenched special commando units of the Liberation Tigers fought ferociously for six hours beating back the two pronged operation of the government troops. The fighting which began at 3p.m yesterday ended around 9p.m leaving a trail littered with dead soldiers, burning tanks and abandoned arms and ammunition.

"An armored unit, which spearheaded the offensive thrust, met with serious debacle. Two main battle tanks were burnt out near the front defense line of the LTTE fighters while another 5 tanks were seriously damaged. The Tamil Tigers have also captured two South African 'Buffel' armored vehicles fitted with 50 calibre heavy machine guns. The LTTE fighters have also recovered 25 rifles and 25 bodies of dead soldiers.

"Faced with serious logistic problems with the main supply route cut-off from Elephant Pass military complex housing two divisions, the Sri Lankan army has made several futile attempts to overrun the LTTE defense positions on the strategic highway. In the meantime the LTTE has moved its heavily armed combat units in the areas between Eluthumadduval and Pallai and has been consolidating their defense positions."


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