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 Post subject: SL Forces advance towards Elephant Pass - updated
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:23 pm 
Sri Lankan military launches offensive in the north

Military source said the army began moving forward in government defence lines at Muhamalai, Kilali and Eluthumadduval in Jaffna to ensure consolidation of troop security from rebel onslaughts.

2006/9/9
@ Xinhua


Colombo, Sep 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan troops began making an advance out of their forward defence lines towards the Tamil Tigers in the northern Jaffna peninsular early Saturday morning, a defence official said.

Military source said the army began moving forward in government defence lines at Muhamalai, Kilali and Eluthumadduval in Jaffna to ensure consolidation of troop security from rebel onslaughts.

Clashes in Jaffna between the government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels erupted on Aug 11 when the LTTE started attacking the military forward defence lines at Muhamalai.

A ferocious battle lasting nearly three weeks accounted for the deaths of over 500 combatants from both sides. The army managed to wade off the Tiger thrust completely with superior firepower.

Saturday's operation which aims to neutralise the LTTE's artillery capability in the Jaffna peninsula comes in the wake of military success in the eastern province, where troops overran the rebel stronghold of Sampur Monday.

The military engagements sparked off late July in spite of the Norwegian backed truce agreement.

Both sides have not formally withdrawn from the February 2002 ceasefire agreement and claim that each side was only responding to the other party's aggression.

The Sampur annexing by the troops was dubbed by the LTTE as a gross violation and it made public statements the agreement precludes both parties from annexing the other party's territory.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka vowed Friday the troops would advance further into rebels' territory in response to the LTTE call for withdrawal of troops from Sampur.

Clashes have caused widespread displacement of civilians in the conflict zones in the north and east.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR estimates over 230,000 had been displaced in the north and east since the beginning of April.

The city of Jaffna has faced severe food shortages and high prices due to scarcities despite the government's action to provide over 7,000 tonnes of food.
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 Post subject: Sri Lanka troops take Tiger territory, troop death toll hits
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:38 pm 
Sri Lanka troops take Tiger territory, troop death toll hits 20

Troops had moved almost a kilometer into territory previously held by the Tigers. "There was heavy resistance initially," a military source said Saturday. "Casualties are mainly due to long-range weapons fired by the Tamil Tigers. The operation was launched to secure the army's forward defence lines."

@ News.Yahoo.com
09Sep2006


COLOMBO (AFP) - At least 20 troops were killed and over 100 wounded in new fighting as Tamil rebels resisted an army advance into guerrilla-held territory in northern Sri Lanka.

Image

Hundreds of Sri Lankan troops were involved in the offensive along the de facto border between government- and rebel-held areas in the Jaffna peninsula, said the sources on condition of anonymity.

The operation, launched from three locations along the front lines, sparked clashes with the rebels, the sources said, adding troops had moved almost a kilometer (half-mile) into territory previously held by the Tigers.

"There was heavy resistance initially," a military source said Saturday. "Casualties are mainly due to long-range weapons fired by the Tamil Tigers. The operation was launched to secure the army's forward defence lines."

There was no immediate word from the Tigers about the latest clashes or about any possible casualties on their side.

A new wave of fighting erupted in Jaffna last month when the Tamil Tigers staged a major artillery and mortar bomb attack against military positions within the peninsula, but most of the battles died down after two weeks.

Security forces were staging the latest action to strengthen their defences and push back Tiger artillery guns that hit the main airbase in Jaffna, the sources said.

The fighting has also effectively cut off the only road access to the peninsula where about 8,000 civilians, including a large number of foreign nationals of Sri Lankan origin, are believed to be trapped.

The International Red Cross last month operated a ferry to evacuate 161 people, while the Sri Lankan navy Saturday sent a troop carrier to ferry some 795 civilians out of the peninsula.

"The navy undertook this humanitarian mission considering the plight of civilians in the Jaffna peninsula who are faced with irregular transport facilities," the defence ministry said in a statement.

Nordic truce monitors ruled that the August 11 fighting in Jaffna was initiated by the Tigers, although the guerrillas said they were taking defensive action to prevent a military onslaught against them.

Sri Lanka has suffered an upsurge in bloodshed since December that has left more than 1,500 people dead by official count and a 2002 ceasefire in shreds.

The island's three-decade-old separatist ethnic conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives.


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 Post subject: Sri Lankan forces advance towards Elephant Pass
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:26 pm 
Sri Lankan forces advance towards Elephant Pass

Sun, 2006-09-10
@ Agencies


Image

Sri Lankan Army (SLA) is advancing slowly towards Tamil Tiger rebel strongholds Elephant Pass on Sunday. Sri Lanka's military has captured the LTTE forward defence bunker line in Muhamalai and Eluthumaduwal. No troop advancement had been reported from the security forces forward defence line in Nagar Kovil. Advancing troops came under artillery and heavy mortar fire directed from Elephant Pass.

Twenty-eight soldiers were killed and 119 wounded in three days of fighting. An estimated 150 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels were also killed, with more wounded.

Indirect fire and anti personnel mines were the main cause for the security forces' casualties, according to military sources. The LTTE had mined the area heavily, according to one military official. Troop's advancement came after the Tigers fired several rounds of Rocket Propel Grenades (RPG) at the security forces's forward defence line on Friday night.

The advance continued at a slow pace Sunday amid heavy artillery and mortar fire from both sides, an official of the Defense Ministry's Media Center for National Security said.

Separately on Sunday, three soldiers were killed in a bomb blast blamed on the rebels, in the northern district of Vavuniya.




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 Post subject: 163 killed in Lanka - LTTE fighting
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:36 am 
163 killed in Lanka - LTTE fighting

Government troops had gone more than a kilometre into LTTE-held territory across the Kilaly-Muhamalai-Nagarkovil axis. This axis is vital for the capture of the Elephant Pass base lying further south. Elephant Pass has been under LTTE occupation since 2000. Once the Elephant Pass base is captured, Kilinochchi, the headquarters of the LTTE, will come under a severe threat.

PK Balachandran
Colombo, September 11, 2006


Sri Lankan ground troops, supported by artillery and aircraft, smashed through the Forward Defence Lines (FDL) of the LTTE on the Kilaly-Muhamalai axis in the Thenmarachchi sector of south Jaffna on Monday.

In the confrontations since September 8, 130 LTTE cadres and 33 army soldiers were killed, the Sri Lankan Army said on Sunday.

Among the 260 wounded were 130 LTTE fighters.

Eleven bodies of LTTE fighters found in the newly-captured FDLs were handed over to the ICRC on Sunday, the army further said.

Sri Lankan media reports said that government troops had gone more than a kilometre into LTTE-held territory across the Kilaly-Muhamalai-Nagarkovil axis.

Image

This axis is vital for the defense or capture of the Elephant Pass base lying further south.

Elephant Pass has been under LTTE occupation since 2000.

Once the Elephant Pass base is captured, Kilinochchi, the headquarters of the LTTE, will come under a severe threat.

The army said that it was the LTTE, which opened the campaign in this sector by firing artillery and mortars on its positions on the Muhamalai-Nagarkovil axis.

To neutralise the intensive firing, the army began to reply in kind on September 8 and move on the ground.


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