SLA calls off battle for strategic road point

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 March 2001, 14:30 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Thursday afternoon called off a major operation to capture a strategic point between Eluthumadduval and Nagar Kovil in Jaffna's southeastern sector amidst heavy resistance from the Liberation Tigers. The SLA launched the operation in the early hours of the morning around 3 a.m. Thursday to capture the Sudalaippiddi Pillaiyar Kovil area on the road linking the Eluthumadduval junction on the A9 and Nagar Kovil.

Troops backed by heavy armour and artillery began the assault in the early hours of the morning Thursday after Sri Lanka Air Force jets pounded the positions of the Liberation Tigers in and around the Sudalaippillaiyar Kovil Wednesday afternoon. Heavy fighting raged in the near Tharavai junction until noon, residents of Amban, a village close to Nagar Kovil, told TamilNet.

The strategic point on the road link between the A9 and the SLA's Nagar Kovil base lies in the midst of mangroves, 500 meters from the SLA's forward positions near the Tharavai junction (formerly Cholan Kudiyiruppu).

Control over this point on the link route between the A9 and the coastal road from Pt. Pedro- Aliyavalai, gives the Liberation Tigers access to the lagoon and marsh between the A9 and the coast north of Nagar Kovil, sources in Amban said.

The Forward Defence Localities of the Liberation Tigers are also located directly to the south of the SLA's Nagar Kovil base. The LTTE's FDLs on the coast are 1.5 kilometers from the FDLs of Nagar Kovil, according to the sources.

Meanwhile, residents of Amban said that at least 30 wounded soldiers were brought from the battlefront today and were flown by helicopter to the SLA's base in Palaly.

 

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