SLA offensive continues - LTTE

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 October 1999, 21:27 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said today they had inflicted heavy casualties on Sri Lanka Army (SLA) units which had advanced into LTTE territory on October 14 on twin fronts to the east and west of Mankulam. Scores of SLA troops and 48 Tigers were killed in the heavy fighting which is continuing, a press release issued by the LTTE's International Secretariat in London today.

“Scores of Sri Lankan soldiers have been killed and hundreds injured in the fighting at two fronts since the 14th of october when troops attempted to over-run the front defence lines of the Tamil Tiger fighters at Ambagamam and Vavunikulam in the eastern and western flanks of Makulam,” the statement said.

“In a major offensive thrust thousands of Sri Lankan troops supported by heavy artillery and air power penetrated the front defence lines of LTTE at Ambagamam about 5 kilometres north of Karuppaddamurippu in the eastern sector of Mankulam.”

“Heavy fighting continues in the area for the last three days. The LTTE fighters have launched artillery and mortar fire and have inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy troops,” the statement said.

“On the eastern front the Tigers guerrillas have fought back fiercely and foiled the advance of the Sri Lankan troops at Vavunikulam, west of Mankulam,” it added.

“So far 48 LTTE fighters have been killed in these battles,” the statement said.

The Sri Lanka Army handed over the bodies of 32 Liberation Tigers killed in the fighting in the Ampakamam-Olumadu area, to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at Mankulam, said sources.

The LTTE statement said that, in a separate confrontation with the Sri Lanka Navy on October 14, six Black Tigers were killed in an accidental collision. Four Sri Lanka Navy gunboats were damaged in the fighting, the statement added.

“4 Dvora boats were severely damaged and several naval personnel were injured when LTTE Sea Tiger gunboats attacked a naval convoy in the coastal seas of Mullaitivu. In the sea battle that ensued six 'Black Sea Tigers' were killed when their boats laden with explosives accidentally collided with one another," the statement said.

 

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