SLA suffers heavy casualties in Mannaar, clashes erupt in Northern FDL

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 March 2008, 15:15 GMT]
Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) Operations Command in Mannaar said upto 55 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed in heavy fighting that ensued between the SLA and the LTTE Saturday at Iththikka'ndal in Paalaikkuzhi, Mannaar. Meanwhile the SLA has handed over dead bodies of 10 LTTE cadres, 6 females and 4 males, at Mannaar hospital Sunday, claiming that the bodies were recovered in the heavy fighting on Saturday. On Sunday, 4 SLA soldiers were killed and 7 wounded, according to LTTE Operations Command in Vavuniyaa. As the rain ceased, the SLA engaged in offensive push in Mannaar, Vavuniyaa and along the FDLs in the North.

The SLA had cut off the cellular phone links from 8:45 a.m. Saturday till 1:00 p.m. Sunday in Mannaar.

Around 120 SLA soldiers were wounded in the heavy fighting that lasted from 4:20 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. on Saturday in Paalaikkuzhi battlefront, according to the LTTE claims.

The fighting intensified as SLA captured some LTTE points in Paalaikkuzhi. The Tigers re-captured the points from the SLA and the fighting raged on as both the SLA and the LTTE were fighting for the control of the points. Finally, at 5:00 p.m., the SLA was forced to retreat after 10 hours of fighting in which the SLA sustained heavy casualties.

The SLA held a low casualty figure claiming that only 2 SLA soldiers were killed and 16 wounded in the 10-hour direct combat.

Meanwhile, 4 SLA soldiers were killed and 7 wounded at Paalamoaddai in Vavuniyaa district on Sunday, according to LTTE Vavuniyaa Operations Command. The fighting lasted for more than an hour.

Fighting was also reported on three fronts in the Northern Front at Ki'laali, Naakarkoayil and Mukamaalai on Sunday. At least one SLA soldier was killed and several others were wounded when the Tigers counter attacked the SLA soldiers. Tigers recovered 2 T-56 assault rifles and ammunition, according to initial details.

Heavy shelling by the SLA was reported from Jaffna from 5:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m.


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