LTTE offensive widens in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Monday, 13 December 1999, 11:29 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers have extended their offensive into the Thenmaradchi region of the Jaffna peninsula, the LTTE said in a statement today. Hundreds of Sri Lanka Army troops have been killed and the SLA's .key Elephant Pass base complex was cut off, the statement said.
The text of the statement follows:
"Hundreds of Sri Lankan troops were killed and injured as the current LTTE's offensive campaign spread and intensified to several sectors of Thenmarachi in the Jaffna peninsula."
"The elite commando units of the Liberation Tigers launched daring and lightening assaults on Sri Lankan army's defence positions at Navatkuly, Chavakachcheri, Kodikamam and Yakachi along the Jaffna highway causing havoc among the government troops."
"The artillery base attached to the Chavakachcheri army camp was destroyed last night when the LTTE's mortar shells hit the ammunition dump and caused massive explosions."
"Over one hundred troops were killed and injured in that particular incident.."
"As the fury of the Tiger assault spread to several strategic towns and villages in Thenmarachi region, the Sri Lankan troops are on the run in several areas deserting their positions."
"The Elephant Pass military complex is seriously threatened as the fighting units of the Tamil Tigers have launched a concerted attack on Yakachi army base, the main defence structure guarding the gateway to Elephant Pass."
"Having overrun the strategic naval base at Vettilaikerni and Kaddaikadu and the military base at Pullaveli, which constituted the eastern defence perimeters of the Elephant Pass base complex, the LTTE fighters are now pounding the Yakachi army camp with artillery and mortar."
"Fierce fighting is continuing at Yakachi for the last 24 hours and the Sri Lankan troops have suffered heavy casualties. The fall of Yakachi army camp will expose the Elephant Pass central base to serious threat as the military base has been cut off from land and sea supplies and completely encircled by formidable LTTE fighting formations."
"In the meantime, the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry has been making desperate efforts to underplay the scale and magnitude of the Tiger offensive in the crucial Thenmarachi region of the Jaffna Peninsula fearing that the objective truth of the ground reality will have serious repercussions in the Presidential elections."