6:28 AM

LTTE on the run

Over 100 LTTE including 15 senior terrorists and 43 soldiers were killed in fierce fighting that lasted for 11hours between SLA and LTTE in the narrow and open land stretches at Muhamalai and Kilaly - Jaffna yesterday (Apr 23), according to finalized reports received from North.

Troops have also recovered 9 LTTE bodies left behind as Army pushed and gained control over the LTTE's first line of defence at Muhamalai. Many LTTE bodies are scattered in the area and preparations are made to recover the bodies and hand those over to the LTTE through the ICRC, military sources said.

The LTTE fighting formations were driven some 500m back from its initial positions as troops mounted heavy resistance attacks, thwarting a pre-dawn LTTE offensive attempt.

55 and 53 divisions of Army entered into the battle from Muhamalai and Kilaly areas as pitched fighting broke out with soaring casualties from both sides.

"Soldiers have been able to capture the first line of bunkers of the Tigers in Muhamalai. LTTE terrorists came and attacked our forward line on Wednesday morning, we have retaliated and captured about 400 to 500 metres of LTTE area in Muhamalai," said military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara.

It has been reported that 120 soldiers had suffered injuries and those in serious conditions have been already air lifted to Colombo. According to reports, the injured were admitted to the National Hospital- Colombo, Sri Jayawardenapura and Eye Hospital. The Media Centre for National Security said that, 33 soldiers have gone missing following the confrontations and search operations been continued along the tensed battle lines at Muhamalai and Kilaly.

"Canter vehicles loaded with dead LTTE cadres and casualties were rushing continuously towards Mullaittiuvu and Kilinochchi districts since yesterday morning as civilians were restricted of movement along the main routes for over 7 hours", unverified sources close to LTTE were quoted as saying.

15 senior LTTE cadres who have led the fighting units during the offensive were killed as the brunts of terrorist casualties were reported from North of A-9 at Muhamalai, according to the sources.

LTTE civil militia units and 'Police' stormed into government hospitals at Kilinochchi and Mullaittiuvu; forcibly vacated the area of civilian presence allocating space for the arriving LTTE casualties. Accommodated patients were taken off from their beds and forced to lie on cardboard sheets, while women and children were cornered and others chased away from the sites, the sources were quoted further saying.

Defence sources report that the LTTE offensive was overall led by Theepan and Muhundan, two senior LTTE cadres , whilst fighting formations at Muhamalai and Kilaly were reported respectively led by 'Jerry', Kumunan and Kutti.

Source: Defence.lk