Tiger ambush kills seven

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 March 1999, 10:37 GMT]
Seven Sri Lankan Army (SLA) soldiers were killed last night around 7.15 p.m. in an attack by the Liberation Tigers in Weli Oya. Army sources in Vavuniya said that the tractor in which they were travelling was hit by a claymore mine.

The soldiers were on their way from the Gajabhapura camp to Othiyamalai, 5 kilometers southeast of Nedunkerni when they were ambushed by the Liberation Tigers.

The Tigers had withdrawn from the area when the SLA units had retaliated with mortar and samll arms fire.

The SLA 53 division took the road from Gajabhapura to Nedunkerni through Othiyamalai in the first phase of Operation Jaya Sikurui in May 1997.

Gajabhapura was formerly the Ceylon Theatres Farm, one of the agricultural settlements started by Tamils in Manal Aaru, the fertile southern part of the Mullaithivu.

Tamils were evacuateed by the SLA from 18 villages from Manal Aaru in 1984 and Sinhalese were settled in the area, renamed Weli Oya in Sinhala.

The SLA has a large number of camps in the area.

The Weli Oya military complex was greatly expanded during the first phase of Jaya Sikurui,the ambitious SLA operation to open the highway to Jaffna through the Vanni.


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