Sri Lanka News

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Heavy fighting spreading to Mannar

By Walter Jayawardhana

HEAVY FIGHTING SPREADING FROM VAVUNIYA TO MANNAR MORE CLOSE TO TAMIL TIGER HEADQUARTERS

Heavy fighting spreaded into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held area of the North Western Province of Sri Lanka and the Army said twenty Tamil Tigers and three Sri Lanka Army soldiers were killed.

The Sri Lanka Army said they were trying to neutralize some LTTE guns that were continuously firing at their troops in Mannar District.

According to the Army the international Committee of Red Cross officials serving the Omanthai entry -exit point North of Vavuniya pulled out during the morning hours of March 23 as the cross loading point was heavily shelled by Tiger artillery guns . The army said until further notice the cross loading point was closed.

The Army said due to the heavy shelling all North bound and South bound traffic was blocked. Army said all security neasures were taken to ensure safety to entrapped civilians by resisting enemy shell power.

Commenting on the Mannar District clashes Army spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said, “”The LTTE is attacking with mortars … without considering the safety of the civilians in the area. Three soldiers were killed and 4 injured.

“We have retaliated to neutralise them and we have observed more than 20 Tiger dead bodies.”
Earlier the LTTE claimed that the they were fighting fierce artillery battles with hundreds of troops who had crossed into territory in Mannar, they claimed as their own.

The Mannar clashes came at a time the LTTE fighters have been evicted from about 230 square miles (600 square kilometers) in the Eastern Province.

Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said on the previous day, Thursday,13 LTTE rebels were killed by the army.

During the recent months the LTTE has suffered heavy set backs like losing three ships carrying arms and hundreds of square milles of land in the East.

Analysts said there are signs that the war is gradually shifting to places close to LTTE headquarters from the East.

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March 23, 2007 - Posted by | News and politics

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