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(Update-2) Sri Lanka loses two battalions troops in the latest battles

Dec 17, 2008, 17:51 Digg this story!

By David Sabapathy - TNS


COLOMBO - Sri Lanka sees the fiercest battles in the recent time on Tuesday December 16 and end of the day Lanka forces loss two battalions troops in the battlefields amidst heavy resistance from the Tamil Tigers, according to informed sources and battlefield reports.


Initially the government claims that it lost 25 soldiers and another 10 reported missing and 160 sustained injuries in all battle fronts. But later in the night informed military sources told TNS that close to 100 soldiers were killed and another 300 others were injured in all operations on Tuesday. They also said 12 bodies were captured by LTTE in Kilinochchi. The Army altogether lost 42 bodies, which were declared MIA, said another sources on the condition of anonymity.


The fiercest battles of the day first broke out in the North, Elite Commando troops of the 55 Division and the 53 Divisions operating in the Kilali and Muhamalai fronts launched an offensive at 1:20 a.m, Tuesday, resulted a fiercest battle that lasted for nine hours.


Tamil Tigers
Within hours Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) said that at least 40 SLA soldiers were killed, 8 bodies recovered and more than 120 soldiers sustained injuries and they pushed back the troops to the original position.


Military spokesman Brigadier Nanayakkara in the capital said that the troops managed to destroy LTTE bunker lines causing heavy damage to the LTTE and returned to their original defence lines amidst stiff resistance.


The Tamil Tigers also claimed that they seized two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers, one AK-LMG, fourteen T-56 assault rifles and a 40 mm Grenade Launcher in their clash with SLA in Kilali.


But for the first time the SLA launched a massive simultaneous operation on four LTTE defences, a multi-front push towards Ki'linochchi from Malayaa'lapuram, Kugnchupparanthan, Mu'rika'ndi and Pulikku'lam as well on Tuesday.


Facing mounting pressure to take the rebel capital Killinochchi, from their kissing distance, the SLA launched once again the most decisive battle for Paranthan and Kilinochchi around 5.30am Tuesday December 16. The 57 and 58 Divisions launched a simultaneous attack on four places on the "L" shaped LTTE bund surrounding Paranthan to Killinochchi.


SLA Troops of the 57 Division under the command of Major General Jagath Dias and the Task Force I under Brigadier Shavendra Silva takes part on the massive simultaneous operation on four LTTE defences suffered the latest debacle, according to military sources.


One Military source said that the LTTE launched wave after wave of attacks using MPMGs and even 23mm and 30mm HMGs, the 57 Division took the brunt of the LTTE counter attacks facing 11 attacks. Troops from Sinha Regiment, Sri Lanka Light Infantry, Gemunu Watch and Gajaba Regiment fought valiantly and suffered their biggest loss.


Tamil Tigers
S. Puleedevan, the director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat, quoting Tiger commanders who were in charge of the Tiger defensive fronts in Ki'linochchi district, later claimed that the Tamil Tigers repulsed a major push by the Sri Lanka Army, killing at least 100 SLA soldiers, causing injuries to more than 250 and recovering at least 10 bodies of the SLA.


"This is the third debacle of the SLA in Ki'linochchi district within the past few weeks," Puleedvan further said.


LTTE officials on Wednesday updated their earlier information and said that 130 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed in the multi-front offensive push by the SLA in Ki'linochchi on Tuesday. More than 300 soldiers were wounded in the heavy battle that raged throughout the day till 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday on four main localities and along a wide stretch of the Ki'linochchi frontiers.


32 dead bodies of the SLA soldiers have been recovered so far, 24 in Killinochchi and 8 in Killiaali, in the clearing missions following Tuesday's fighting. The Tigers have seized several weapons in the clearing mission. 10 dead bodies of the SLA soldiers were recovered by the Tigers Tuesday evening. 8 more bodies were recovered later and 6 further recovered Wednesday morning.


Last Wednesday, December 10, LTTE officials told TNS in Vanni that the two-pronged SLA offensive on Ki'inochchi was pushed back  after heavy fighting in Puthumu'rippu in the west of Ki'linochchi and A'riviyal Nakar in the south. The final death toll of the SLA in both the fronts, according to the LTTE claim, was 120 killed in action and more than 280 wounded.


Meanwhile the SLAF stepped up air strikes on identified LTTE targets in support of ground troops deploying over 20 sorties since last Thursday. Of these, a total of nine attacks were carried out on Saturday alone. The Mig 27?s, Kfirs and F-7 attacking the massive earth bund built by the Tigers to resist the troops moving forward, SLAF spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said.


Tamil Tigers
Sources in Jaffna said that the main access roads, the Palaali road and the A9 Kandy Road were blocked several times by the SLA on Tuesday to transport military casualties from Kilali.

Meanwhile, civil sources in the Capital Colombo said 2 civilian flights to and from Palaali and Ratmalana were canceled on Tuesday as the injured soldiers were being flown to Colombo. Ambulances were seen leaving Ratmalana from 11:30 a.m. onwards. The injured soldiers from Killinochchi war front were evacuated to hospitals in
Anuradhapura and elsewhere.


Some military analyst long said that the LTTE is keeping away most of their Special Force brigades from the defensive battle, saving them for future counterattacks. Is it the turning point and is the LTTE ready to launch its counterattacks, questioned on of those analysts in the Capital Colombo.

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