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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 108

Air and ground attacks on the Toppigala tiger garrisons cause heavy casualties among LTTE cadres

By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo, 15 March, ( Following the third consecutive day of air and ground attacks on the Ampara District Tamil Tiger garrisons in the jungles, heavy casualties have been reported.

Although no independent reports were available about casualties, quoting two Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres who surrendered to them at the Black Bridge in Batticaloa District the army said in the Kodawamadu area they had seen the Tamil Tigers were carrying 14 dead bodies of their colleagues in carts who were killed in the attacks by the security forces.

But holding a press conference in Colombo, a member of the proxy party of the LTTE, the Tamil National alliance, Suresh Premachandran said, not a single LTTE cadre had been killed by the security forces attacks.

He said it was the common people who were inconvenienced by the Sri Lanka army and Air Force attacks.

BBC’s Sandeshaya carried report after report that said the common people were hurt by the government attacks on the Tamil Tigers. The reports said 24,000 students were unable to go to school because of the security situation.

The broadcast further added, the students could not continue education due to the internally displaced persons coming to reside in the school premises.
Defense Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the number of the IDP’s has been greatly exaggerated by some reports as running into hundreds of thousands but from Thoppigala and Trincomalee West areas only 52,000 refugees have arrived at the government controlled areas. The Minister said the refugees are well looked after.

The two cadres of the LTTE( ages 16 and 27) who surrendered to the army at Black Bridge reportedly told the security forces that eight of them escaped to surrender but the other six had lost their way in reaching the Black Bridge camp of the army.

Army sources who are attacking the Thoppigala camps of the LTTE said the same strategy adopted by the LTTE at Vakarai has been adopted by them at Karadiyanaru this time by camping by the Karadiyanaru Hospital to make use of it as a shield. They said the Tamil Tigers have now occupied the hospital for their exclusive use to treat their injured.

Sri Lanka Air Force sources said, “MIG Fighter aircraft launched an air attack on a LTTE gathering in Irrupaikulam, Toppigala, and March 14 at 10.00 a.m.”. The sources said the air attack caused heavy casualties among the LTTE cadres.

Meanwhile army sources said, “Security Forces have covertly informed demoralized LTTE cadres to surrender themselves in the wake of repeated defeats suffered in the east. Troops have ensured the safety and wellbeing of Tiger cadres who are escaping the LTTE and surrendering to the troops in the East.”

The BBC Sandeshaya continued broadcasting reports to say the heavy artillery and rocket attacks on the LTTE camps should be stopped since the thunder like noise is disturbing patients in the Batticaloa hospital and children learning in the schools.

- Asian Tribune -

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