SLA reinforces Elephant Pass

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 December 1999, 15:00 GMT]
Conflicting reports of heavy fighting in the Elephant Pass area continued to emanate today. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) said it had repulsed a major assault by the Liberation Tigers on its defences there, but the Tamil Eelam Vanoli (radio) monitored in Jaffna reported LTTE forces advancing in the region. The LTTE has not commented on the reports.

The Tamil Eelam Vanoli radio (commercial service of the Voice of Tigers radio) said today that the Liberation Tigers have intensified their military operation codenamed Unceasing Wave-III as it entered 40th, residents in Jaffna said.

LTTE forces are advancing towards the forward defence lines of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) between Elephant Pass and vettilaikerni, the radio said.

SLA sources however said that two LTTE attacks on the SLA base at Elephant Pass this morning were repulsed and over 200 Liberation Tigers were killed.

Sources in Jaffna said the SLA today commandeered 20 buses from the Northern Transport Company, parked in the Kondavil Depot in Jaffna to send more troops to Elephant Pass.

Troops from several army camps including Manipay and Urelu have been rushed to Elephant Pass, sources added.

SLA artillery camped in Achchelu in Jaffna has been maintaining an intense barrage towards the Elephant Pass and Paranthan areas, since early morning today, the sources said.

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopters were seen flying over these areas, the sources added.

Sources in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, said that several wounded SLA troops were airlifted to Katunayake and rushed to several hospitals in the city.

In the meantime, the Liberation Tigers have asked the people living in Gurunagar, Navatkuli, Thankillappu, Pashaiyoor, Kokilakandy, Thenmaradchi and Vadamaradchi to move out one kilometre away from main SLA camps and 500 meters from check points in their villages, Jaffna residents said, citing radio broadcasts.


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