5th LEAD

Tigers overrun four SLA camps in Trincomalee, enter Muttur

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 August 2006, 02:35 GMT]
Fighting formations of the Liberation Tigers have overrun four key locations in Trincomalee district after fierce artillery shelling since 2:00 a.m. Wednesday. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps in Kaddaiparichchan, Palathoppu, Pachchanoor and Mahindapura have been overrun, civilian sources said. Heavily armed LTTE fighters were seen entering Muttur town. Military sources in Colombo remained tightlipped and declined to comment on the ground situation. Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir jets continued to bomb LTTE controlled Sampoor area. Fierce fighting is also reported near Kallaru where attempt by SLA forces to capture the Mavil Aaru sluice gates was averted, according to initial reports.

Initial reports from Muttur civil sources further said that the Tigers had entered Muttur jetty, a strategic point of access to Trincomalee harbour area.

At least four SLA soldiers were killed in Muttur area. 3 wounded SLA troopers and 2 civilians were rushed to Kantalai hospital.

The Tigers overran Kaddaiparichchan Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp located nearly 800 meters from LTTE's Sampoor Forward Defence Line (FDL) and advanced 1 km inside SLA held Muttur town, according to civilian sources from Muttur, a predominant Muslim town in the east port city.

SLA controlled Gandhinagar and Palathoppu areas have come under full control of the LTTE forces, according to the same sources.

Meanwhile, sources in Trincomalee said SLAF Kfir jets were seen flying towards LTTE held Muttur east and Eachchilampathu division as clashes were reported near Serunuwara army and police installations.

Multi-barrel artillery shells were fired from Trincomalee SLN base towards the coastal villages of the Muttur east, the sources said.

Sea and land transport to Muttur town has been severed following the heavy fighting.

The civilian ferry service between Trincomalee and Muttur town has been suspended following reports that heavily armed LTTE cadres have gained control of Muttur town after running over Kaddaiparichchan SLA camp.

LTTE cadres on Muttur jetty which has been damaged in the fighting, according to some reports.

Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) from Wednesday morning has suspended its passenger service to and from Trincomalee jetty to Muttur jetty until further notice.

The ferry ‘Seruvila-2’ is now anchored in Trincomalee jetty. Other passenger vessels owned by private operators and Muttur co-operative society are also not in service, sources said.

Meanwhile, the overland route to Muttur through Kantalai-Allai is also blocked.

Any traffic by land to Muttur town should go through Allai-Kantalai and then turn at Hali Oluwa junction towards the north of Muttur division via Thoppur, Selvanagar, and Palathoppur.

The SLA camps in Palathoppur and Selvanagar are located along the main road that leads to Muttur town from Hali Oluwa junction.

Allai-Kantalai road and Hali Oluwa junction-Muttur road are now blocked for traffic due to fighting between SLA and LTTE, civil sources said.

Residents in Trincomalle told TamilNet tension prevails in the eastern port town. Schools in Trincomalee town did not function Wednesday and attendance in government and provincial council departments was poor due to current volatile situation in the Trincomalee district, they said.

Most of business establishments in the town were closed around noon and banks operated for only few hours in the morning. People were seen rushing to markets to buy their provisions, they added.


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