Mankulam fighting continues - SLA
[TamilNet, Monday, 01 June 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Heavy fighting broke out between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan Army yesterday in the general area of Mankulam, when the troops engaged in Operation Jayasikurui made a fresh attempt to advance from their positions around 10.45 a.m. said LTTE sources in Europe.
The SLA has not revealed any details of troop movements in the latest offensive.
However, unconfirmed reports from
the forward areas said that the troops are trying to advance from Ampakamam,
north-east of Mankulam, towards the A9 highway, that runs between Vavuniya and
Ampakamam, is 7 km north of Kara Patta Murippu, an interior village on the
Mankulam-Mullaitheevu road, 10 km east of strategic Mankulam junction.
The troops have advanced further in the direction of Mankulam since the offensive was
launched on Thursday morning, SLA sources said.
Forty soldiers were killed and more than 200 were wounded in the first three days of
the fighting, the sources added.
A large number of soldiers were sent to the forward areas, prior to the launch of the
Twelve thousand Sri Lankan Army deserters who are reported to have returned to the
service, accepting the general amnesty offered by the Sri Lankan Government, have
been sent to the forward areas, said SLA sources in Colombo.
The entire 514-brigade, stationed in the islands off the Jaffna peninsula, was
withdrawn and sent to the forward areas of Operation Jeyasikurui.
Residents of Thenmaradchi said 20 bus loads of Army personnel were previously seen
travelling in the direction of Elephant pass, a large SLA base complex, south
(correction: north) of Kilinochchi.
The is the 6th attempt by the troops of operation Jeyasikurui to capture Mankulam.
Operation Jeyasikurui was launched on May 13 last year to open the A9 highway that
runs between Vavuniya and Kilinochchi.
Meanwhile the Voice of Tigers said today that three Liberation Tigers died in clashes
with the SLA near Ampakamam.
They are, Pakaiyan (Ponnaiah Velayjutham, Batticaloa), Thenmoliyan (Koneswaran
Premakanthan, Batticaloa) and Mathinukan (Kanthaiah Kamalraj, Batticaloa), said the