Clashes in Mannar

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 February 2000, 06:46 GMT]
Fighting was reported between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the north-western Mannar District this morning. The Tigers and the SLA exchanged mortars fire, sources said.

The fighting erupted around 6 a.m. when SLA troops attempted to advance from Maanthai and Thiruketheeswaram, towards LTTE held Paapamoddai, on the Mannar-Pooneryn road, the sources said.

The troops stationed at the Thallaady base have been firing shells towards Paappamoddai since 6 a.m. this morning, they added. Fighting ceased around 10 a.m.

Details of casualties were not known immediately.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan Police arrested more than 3000 people during a cordon and search operation in the Mannar town this morning. They were herded to a public place and their identities were thoroughly checked residents said.

Residents also said that Mannar town is heavily guarded by over 2000 troops since last night.

The search operation was launched in preparation for a visit by MLA M. Hisbullah, the Deputy Minister of Post, Telecommunication and Media, tomorrow. The minister will declare open a new telephone exchange installed by Telecom in Mannar town.


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