Fierce fighting in Sri Lanka kills 67 combatantsApril 23rd, 2008 - 8:09 pm ICT by admin
By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, April 23 (IANS) At least 52 Tamil Tigers and 15 soldiers were killed and several wounded in fierce fighting between advancing Sri Lankan troops and the guerrillas in the island’s north Wednesday, the military said.
Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said heavy fighting broke out when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) “launched a pre-dawn attack on the military’s forward defences at Kilali and Muhamalai areas” in Jaffna.
“Our troops successfully retaliated the LTTE offensive attack and went forward about 500 meters into the LTTE-held areas along the eight-kilometre long Forward Defence Line from Muhamalai to Kilali,” Brig. Nanayakkara said.
“At least 52 LTTE cadres and 15 soldiers were killed and 74 soldiers were wounded during this battle. Some of the wounded soldiers are being airlifted to Colombo,” Nanayakkara said.
He said that Sri Lanka Army’s 55 and 53 divisions engaged in these operations “are now consolidating their newly captured positions”.
Although pro-rebel websites have reported about the fresh fighting in the north, there is no immediate official reaction from the LTTE.
The escalation in violence between the advancing government troops and the LTTE in the Wanni, Jaffna and Mannar regions have left hundreds dead.
Independent verifications on the battlefront casualties are not possible because journalists are barred from visiting the area.