Ambush toll rise to 39 as LTTE escalate attacks in the East

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 June 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Today's attacks on the Pulmoddai police station and on a Sri Lankan military patrol, just two days after the attack in Amparai, claimed the lives of 39 Sri Lankan soldiers and injured another five. Earlier, in the attack on the Sri Lankan military patrol in Amparai, 16 personnel including the members of Sri Lanka's elite Special task force were killed.

Today's reports say that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) forces attacked a police patrol between Arafat Nagar and the 13-mile post on the Pulmoddai-Kebittigollewa road and simultaneously lead a barrage of mortar fire on the Pulmoddai police station. Bodies of 23 Sri Lankan soldiers have been recovered. Also, two Sri Lankan police personnel were killed elsewhere in the Island's north and east.

The attacks came only a week after the LTTE's ferocious counter-attack on the Sri Lankan forces, which were stationed at Thandikulam military base. During that attack the Sri Lankan government suffered heavily both in terms of military supplies and personnel. The counter-offensive appears to have stalled the Sri Lankan government's operation 'Jaya Sikurai' or Operation Sure of Victory, which was aimed at clearing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from the Vanni main land.

The LTTE intensified their campaign for a Tamil homeland and for the right of Self-determination in the Island's north and east after the 1983 riots, which claimed the lives of nearly 3000 Tamil civilians. The war has claimed the lives of more than 50,000 Tamils in the past 14 years and has made more than 750,000 Tamils homeless.


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