10000 more required to fight war - Lt.Gen.Balagalle

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 October 2000, 16:54 GMT]
"We need at least ten thousand extra troops to continue the war against the Liberation Tigers at this rate" said Sri Lanka army commander Lt.Gen. Lionel Balagalle Monday addressing a press conference at the army headquarters in Colombo. An island-wide recruitment drive for the army will begin from Wednesday 25 October and will continue for a month according to the commander.

Lt.Gen. Balagalle said that the SLA launched four operations against the Tigers (in Jaffna) since 3 September. His troops are now consolidating the defence lines of the Nagar Kovil detachment, the commander added.

He said that two thousand soldiers were wounded and 266, including officers, were killed in the fighting with the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna since 3 September 2000. Fifty percent of our war wounded have returned to duty" the SLA commander told the press conference.

"In a war situation like this, there will be losses and gains for both sides. The number of Tigers killed in the fighting during this period is not known but is believed to be high" the SLA commander said.

He confirmed that a helicopter gunship was shot down and destroyed in the Trincomalee Bay and that the crew of four is believed killed. The helicopter gunship had gone to provide fire support to ground troops which had engaged the Tigers in that area according to him.

 

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