Elephant Pass overrun - LTTE

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 April 2000, 10:52 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) base complex at Yakachchi and Elephant Pass was overrun by the Liberation Tigers Saturday following two days of heavy fighting, the LTTE said in a statement from its London offices. Over one thousand SLA troops were killed in the ferocious battle and the remaining troops of the 54 division fled in disarray, the statement said. “The fall of this crucial base at the gate of Jaffna will facilitate the LTTE to gain its strategic goal of liberating Jaffna,” the organisation said.

The full text of the press release follows:

“Yakachchi and Elephant Pass bases forming the giant military complex of the Sri Lankan army on the gateway to Jaffna fell to the combat formations of the Liberation Tigers this afternoon following 48 hours of fierce and bloody fighting. Over one thousand Sri Lankan troops were killed and the rest fled in total disarray.”



“LTTE’s Special Forces and commando units stormed into the Yakachchi military base in the early hours of the morning in a multi-pronged assault and overran the well-fortified camp after several hours of intense fighting. The LTTE commandos, who penetrated central base, destroyed several artillery pieces, tanks, armoured vehicles and ammunition dumps.”

“Overwhelmed by the fury of the Tiger assault the Sri Lankan troops who desperately held the base without supplies and reinforcements for the last 2 days, fled in total confusion.”

“With the fall of Yakachchi and with the collapse of the command structure of its defending troops, the LTTE combat units moved swiftly and stormed into Elephant Pass from different directions. Unable to withstand the LTTE’s multi-pronged assault the Sri Lankan troops ran amok in chaos.”

“The majority of the soldiers of the 54 Division fled through Killali lagoon in the midst of heavy fire from LTTE fighters suffering heavy casualties.”

“LTTE fighters are now in full control of the Yakachchi-Elephant Pass sector and have amassed a huge haul of heavy weapons, ammunition and military vehicles.”

“The conquest of Elephant Pass complex, the largest and well -entrenched military base in the north, signified a major military victory of the Tigers in the current campaign against Sri Lankan troops in Jaffna. The fall of this crucial base at the gate of Jaffna will facilitate the LTTE to gain its strategic goal of liberating Jaffna.”

 

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