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 Post subject: Tamil Tigers under attack in Land, Air and Sea
 Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:46 am 
Tamil Tigers under attack in Land, Air and Sea
LTTE boats beaten off Nachchikudha; 10 boats destroyed, 25 tigers killed
At least 71 people were killed on Wednesday

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Sri Lanka's military says it is moving closer to the headquarters of the Tamil Tigers. The Tamil Tigers say they have been putting up stiff resistance.

Friday, September 19, 2008
@ Agencies/MOD


Sri Lanka's military mounted land, sea and air attacks on Tamil Tigers known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in their last strongholds in the north of Sri Lanka.

Navy vessels destroyed 10 boats and killed 25 members of the LTTE's Sea Tigers unit in a three-hour battle off Nachchikudha on the northwestern coast yesterday, the Defense Ministry said.

According to naval sources, the pitched battle lasted over 3 hours which erupted 5 nautical miles West of Nachchikudha, forcing LTTE to retreat with heavy damages.

As the battle progressed, naval Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) and elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) craft were reinforced into the confrontation zone, which launched simultaneous attacks at the approaching LTTE craft. The LTTE boats were led by a senior sea tiger cadre identified as Kadar, military said citing intercepted LTTE communication. Four LTTE boats have received damages and was observed towed after the initial interception, according to earlier reports.

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During the confrontation, Sri Lanka Navy destroyed three large sea tiger attack craft and seven small attack craft killing over 26 sea tigers. Two Sri Lanka Navy sailors were also injured during the confrontation.

While the military said only two SLN personnel were wounded, Hindustan Times reported based on unconfirmed reports that at least 10 soldiers of the navy were also killed.

In the mean time, according to military reports, at least 48 LTTE were killed in army ground offensives within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the LTTE headquarters at Kilinochchi. Fighting continued in the Wanni battlefront, Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu and Vavuniya Districts, as troops confirmed killing 48 tigers, wounding 34 others in yesterday's clashes (17 September).

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18 soldiers were also reported killed and 36 others wounded in these clashes, the report added.

In Vavuniya front, clashes were reported in Navatkulam, Kontakkarankulam, Akkarayankulam and Palamoddai areas. 17 tigers and 5 soldiers were killed. Last Saturday troops attached to 57 Division launched a massive artillery assault on heavy earth moving equipment of the LTTE which were busy constructing huge earth bunds east of Akkarayankulam tank similar to that of the huge earth bund constructed from Nachchikuda to west of Akkarayan stretching for more than 20 Kilometres. Fierce battles erupted in the east of Akkarayankulam from Sunday to Tuesday in which the Security Forces advanced six kilometres towards the Jaffna Kandy A-9 road from the Akkarayan tank area.

During these battles the Security Forces operating in Akkarayan and Vavunivilankulam, a number of soldiers felt burning effects on their skin after the LTTE fired two canisters of gas towards them. Though there was a panic situation at the initial stages fearing that the LTTE had fired a chemical weapon, later it was found that they had fired only two canisters of CS gas which is commonly used for riot controlling measures worldwide (tear gas).

In Kilinochchi front heavy fighting took place in Terankulam area. Intercepted transmissions have confirmed 24 LTTE killed and 22 injured. 12 more soldier were killed and 27 sustained injuries during this confrontation.

Troops of the Task Force I (58 division), captured the entire 1.5 km-long Karambakulam tank bund, about 11 km northeast of Nachchikuda by Wednesday afternoon, consequent to a close fire fight that saw twenty-five Tigers killed and a similar number badly injured. So far the troops have captured a total of nearly 8 kilometres of the 20 kilometres long earth bund that was built connecting Nachchikuda and Akkarayankulam in order to prevent the advancing troops.

In Welioya front, 5 tigers were killed and 11 wounded in series of clashes reported in Andankulam area. An army soldier was killed and 5 more sustained injuries. The 59 Division which is operating from the Weli Oya front has already completed their mission within the Andankulam forest reserve and entered a massive open area south of Mullaitivu. The entire 1-4 Base complex has now been captured by the troops operating in the Andankulam forest reserve with the capture of the Nishanthan and Castro bases which have been abandoned by the LTTE.

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Though the LTTE did not react to the claim of the SLN, it claimed success on another battle front.

The pro-LTTE website, Tamilnet.com, quoting the Tigers, said the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), which launched a fresh attempt to advance in Vannerikulam on Thursday suffered heavy casualties as the Tigers repulsed the move after four hours of heavy fighting.

“LTTE military officials in Vanni told TamilNet that 25 SLA soldiers were killed in the fighting and more than 40 wounded. Two dead bodies of SLA soldiers were recovered and the Tigers have seized arms and ammunitions from the battlefield,’’ the website said.

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At least 71 people were killed on Wednesday, one of the deadliest days of combat since Sri Lanka’s armed forces intensified a thrust into rebel-held territory three months ago.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Air Force carried out two air raids targeting LTTE strongholds in Kilinochchi district on Thursday afternoon. Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets simultaneously raided a hideout of the senior LTTE leaders and LTTE defensive positions in the perimeter of the hideout located in northwest of Vishwamadu, Mullaittivu district this afternoon, 18 September.

The LTTE accused army commandos of setting off a roadside mine on Thursday targeting a passenger bus inside rebel territory, killing three civilians and wounding five, Tamilnet.com said.

“Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit infiltrators on Thursday morning triggered a Claymore mine targeting a passenger bus, killing at least three civilians,” the website said quoting unidentified rebel police.

Security forces are now advancing to wrestle control of the the Tigers’ political capital of Kilinochchi for the first time in 10 years.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said this week that security forces hope to capture Kilinochchi by December.

There will be no cease-fire or negotiations until the LTTE lays down its arms, President said earlier this week, according to the government's Web site.

Capturing Kilinochchi is ``definite,'' though it will take some time, he said.

The Tamil Tigers will go underground rather than ``fight to the last man,'' Army Chief Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said in an interview with Reuters. ``I don't want to give a timeframe'' for recapturing the north, he added.

``Just now, they are fighting face-to-face because we are fighting the Kilinochchi defense line,'' Fonseka said. ``The killing rate is very high, so I don't know how long they can afford to resist like this.''

According to a ministry toll, the LTTE has lost 6,677 fighters since January, when a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire was abandoned. The authorities say 649 government soldiers have died in the same period.


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