Heavy casualties in Jaffna fighting

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 January 2001, 19:02 GMT]
Airstrikes and heavy exchanges or artillery rocked the Jaffna peninsula Wednesday as the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) continued to face determined resistance from the Liberation Tigers, sources close to the LTTE said. Over 100 SLA troops and 70 Tigers have been killed in the past two days, sources close to the LTTE said Thursday evening. Over 400 SLA troops have been wounded, they added.

Following the launch of a massive offensive Tuesday with thousands of troops supported by armour, artillery and airpower, the SLA had advanced 1.5kms against fierce LTTE resistance, but had not attempted to resume troop movements Wednesday, the sources said.

Instead, the SLA was continuing a heavy barrage using artillery and multi-barrelled rocket launchers (MBRLs), as Mig-27 jet bombers of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) flew repeated sorties against LTTE positions, they said.

"The Army has clearly been surprised by the resistance it is facing," the sources said. Both sides were making preparations for ongoing fighting, they added.

The SLA said in Colombo that it had not made major advances Wednesday, but said it had secured two "vital" positions. The SLA said it had suffered 54 killed and 227 wounded. It also said it had killed 50 Tigers and said it had handed back the bodies of 20 of them through the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC).

The (ICRC) on Wednesday afternoon transferred the bodies from Gurunagar to Kalmunai point in the Pooneryn region and handed them over to the LTTE representatives in Vanni, the spokesman for the organisation, Harasha Gunawardena said.

The SLA says its objective is Elephant Pass, the location of a former military complex, the loss of which in April last year to an LTTE onslaught is said to have been the Army's worst defeat.

The LTTE says that apart from defensive measures against Sri Lankan military attack, it is desisting from offensive operations in accordance with a unilateral ceasefire it announced Christmas Eve. The ceasefire is due to expire on January 24. The Sri Lankan government has rejected the ceasefire and said it will continue its offensives against the LTTE.

 

Latest 15 Reports
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
25.06.20 23:53  
Pompeo talks about US reposturing troops, mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia
24.06.20 23:36   Photo
Devananda circumvents court order, manipulates Jaffna fishers to allow poachers from South
23.06.20 22:03  
Sinhala encroachment of pastureland continues unabated in Batticaloa
22.06.20 18:17  
SLMC Chairman: Time for joint Tamil-Muslim efforts
21.06.20 23:11   Photo
Ex-councillor: Poverty-stricken Tamils at receiving end of SL military brutality in North
20.06.20 23:53   Photo
Tamil man killed, Sinhala Army opens fire at motorbike rider at Mukamaalai in North
19.06.20 23:30  
Dr Amir Ali: SL Archaeology aims to obliterate Tamil traces, shrink territory of Muslims in East
18.06.20 21:02  
Colombo steps up surveillance harassment on organisations operating in East
17.06.20 22:12  
SL military cordons off Jaffna islet with war-time like harassment, families fear reprisals
16.06.20 11:58  
Former NPC Councillor urges mobilisation to protect contiguity of Tamil homeland
15.06.20 16:41   Photo
Dairy farmers feel harassed after exposing Sinhala encroachment in Batticaloa
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=5737