Tigers attack STF patrol
[TamilNet, Monday, 26 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers attacked a Special Task Force (STF) patrol in the Ampara district last evening killing four STF commandos including an officer and a reserve Police constable.
One STF commando was wounded in the LTTE attack which had lasted for about half an hour said TamilNet correspondent in Ampara. The Tigers removed five T-56 assault rifles from the STF patrol.
The Tigers attacked the STF patrol on the Pottuvil road, between Thirukkovil and Komari on the southeastern coast of the Ampara district. The Pottuvil road runs along the eastern edge of the Kanjikudichcha Aaru (which in Tamil means 'the river by which porridge was drunk) jungles where the Liberation Tigers maintain a large logistical base.
The government, which is hard pressed for troops to supervise the area, tries to keep its hold on the strategic road along the coast to the southeastern town of Pottuvil which is now predominantly Muslim.
Tamil who constituted the majority in Pottuvil and its hinterlands have dwindled in numbers over the years due to systematic massacres, forced evacuation of a large number of interior villages by the STF and draconian restrictions on cultivation and on the transport of essentials.
In the 1977 general elections the Pottuvil electorate returned a TULF candidate to Parliament. At this election, the TULF sought a mandate from the Tamil speaking people in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, a mandate for establishing a separate sovereign state for them in the two provinces.