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 Post subject: Heavy fighting with LTTE...
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Heavy fighting with LTTE...
LTTE Artillery seized, jets pound LTTE attack craft; six Tigers killed
Third evacuation of hundreds of sick and wounded patients

The two artillery barrels had been applied with grease and covered up with polyethylene covers before they were buried by the fleeing LTTE cadres in the Mullaittivu district.

Monday, February 16, 2009
@ Sources: Agencies


Sri Lankan soldiers fought a series of fierce battles with separatist Tamil Tigers, advancing further into the insurgents' shrinking territory.

Cornered Tamil Tigers are burying their heavy weaponry, including long-range artillery guns, in an apparent indication that they are left with no option but to go back to waging a guerrilla war, as five more LTTE cadres were killed in fierce fresh fighting with the Army.

Troops seized a huge cache of arms and ammunitions, including artillery barrels of 130mm long range guns, and uncovered a deserted LTTE camp in the Mullaittivu forests.

Troops of 5 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (5VIR) serving under 533 Brigade commanded by Lt Col Jayanath Jayaweera found two 130mm artillery barrels from west of Puthukkudyiruppu while conducting search and clear operations in the area this morning, the defence ministry said. The two artillery barrels had been applied with grease and covered up with polyethylene covers before they were buried by the fleeing LTTE cadres in the Mullaittivu district. Further search and clear operation are now being in progress as the military officials believe that remaining accessories of the 130mm artillery guns were also hidden in the surrounding area.

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Five LTTE cadres were killed in separate operations in Thevipuram and Ampalavanpokkanai areas in Mullaittivu, where the Army confronted small groups of rebels. An abandoned LTTE camp was also located by troops while conducting clear operations in the Visuamadu area, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Air Force MI-24 helicopters raided a LTTE strong point observed in south of Puthukkudiyiruppu junction this morning, 16 February. Air Force spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara nsaid that the air sorties were launched at 10.30 AM in support of troops of 53 Division.

Air Force MiG-27 fighter jets Sunday launched precision air strikes at identified LTTE attack craft sinking two, while destroying another in the north of the Mullaittivu lagoon, Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said. "The LTTE craft were located near the wreck of the Farah-III, Jordanian cargo vessel which was pirated by the LTTE on December 23, 2006," Nanayakkara said.

Meanwhile, two LTTE militants were killed after troops providing security to a transformer in general area Awarankal in Achchuweli, Jaffna, successfully thwarted a rebel sabotage attempt to blast it on Saturday, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said. The LTTE militants have made a desperate attempt to attack the military post while blasting off the transformer taking cover with a flurry of small arms fire directed at the troops, security sources said. Troops had retaliated forcing the rebels to flee. The militants were later surrounded, the sources said, adding that the two rebels were killed subsequently.

At Eastern Ampara, the Special Task Force personnel suffered minor damages due anti-personnel mine explosion in Kanjikudichchiaru on Saturday, it said.

The military has nearly routed the rebels after months of intense fighting, trapping them in shrinking coastal area in the northeast along with tens of thousands of fleeing civilians.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross sent a ferry to carry out a third evacuation of hundreds of sick and wounded patients from a makeshift hospital along the coast inside the war zone, Red Cross spokeswoman Sarasi Wijeratne said.


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