INTERNATIONAL

Battles in Sri Lanka’s north intensify

B. Muralidhar Reddy

28 LTTE cadres killed in clashes, says Colombo

COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka military on Monday claimed to have captured six more bunkers of the LTTE and killed 28 Tiger cadres in the continuing battles along the Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) in the north. The military said two soldiers died in the confrontations.

In the last three days, the forces have claimed to have captured 16 bunkers of the Tigers including the entry-exit point to Madhu Church. However, the LTTE has neither confirmed nor denied the claims.

With the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) severely constrained in monitoring the ground situation, it is not possible to get independent assessment on the situation in the north.

If the claims of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) are to be believed, the battle in the north has intensified. For the first time the government is talking in terms of “liberation of Wanni”, defeating the LTTE from the territory under its control in the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullathivu.

A statement by the Defence Ministry on Monday maintained, “Sri Lanka security forces continue to beat in terrorists’ defences of Wanni causing heavy damages to LTTE. As per the latest reports from the battlefronts, troops had dislodged six LTTE bunkers and killed over 28 terrorists in December 23 clashes”.

It said in the Jaffna theatre of battle, troops deployed at Ponnar on the Kilaly front, attacked LTTE bunker line around killing three cadres of the Tigers and destroying two bunkers without incurring any losses.

“On the Muhamalai front, army soldiers manning the defence line opened fire at a group of LTTE terrorists stalking towards their own defence. Ground troops confirmed that one LTTE cadre was killed in the incident that took place around 11.45 a.m. Earlier on the same day morning, army claimed that eight terrorists were killed and four LTTE bunkers destroyed when troops attacked LTTE bunker line at Nagarkovil”, the Ministry said.

It said four soldiers suffered injuries due to anti personnel mine explosions occurred in Thampanai and Kuduruvitankulama area during clearing operations. The injured were admitted to Anuradhapura hospital.

In the Mannar theatre of battle, troops confronted with LTTE at three separate incidents. As per the military eight cadres of LTTE and one soldier were killed in the incidents that occurred in the Narikkulama, Palaikkuli, and Tettakkuli areas.

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