May 7, 2000 |
The government said Tamil Tiger rebels were raining artillery and mortar fire on troops Saturday as the military strengthened defenses to beat back an advance by the guerrillas on the northern Jaffna peninsula. A government statement said the air force had bombed rebel positions north and south of Elephant Pass, the peninsula's gateway that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam overran last month. It said troops also fired long-range mortars while patrols went out ahead of the defense lines.
April 24, 2000 |
Government troops Sunday girded for what was expected to be a bloody battle for control of Jaffna, a strategic stronghold that rebels are determined to recapture. State-run radio here in the capital appealed to people to donate blood, apparently fearing heavy casualties in the fight for Jaffna, which the military captured from the rebels 4 1/2 years ago. The report said 500 people had already lined up to donate blood.
August 23, 1997 |
Government troops claimed Friday to have captured nearly half a strategic town held by Tamil rebels in the fourth day of heavy fighting that has claimed more than 340 lives in northern Sri Lanka. Sixty rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and 16 soldiers were killed Thursday, and 100 guerrillas and 31 government troops were wounded, military spokesman Maj. Kumar Dewage said. Other officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 46 soldiers had been killed.
March 7, 1997 |
Hundreds of rebels attacked an army base and an air force headquarters simultaneously Thursday, the military said, leaving at least 213 people dead. "Ground troops confirmed that more than 160 [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] were killed in the attack on Vavunativu army base," the military said in a statement. At least 48 soldiers also died in the attack by about 800 rebels on the base 135 miles east of Colombo, it said. More than 80 soldiers were wounded.
September 30, 1996 |
Government soldiers crushed stiff rebel resistance and captured a Tamil guerrilla stronghold in northern Sri Lanka, capping a fierce eight-day battle that has left nearly 900 people dead, the military said Sunday. Troops entered the town of Kilinochchi, 170 miles northeast of Colombo, the capital, and were clearing land mines and booby traps, said Defense Ministry spokesman Brig. Sanath Munasinghe. "We are in the process of clearing and consolidating in Kilinochchi," Munasinghe said.
July 27, 1996 |
Sri Lanka's military, seeking to avenge its worst defeat in 13 years of civil war, sent jet fighters, field guns and tanks on a new offensive Friday against Tamil guerrilla strongholds in the northern jungles. Fifteen soldiers were killed and 60 were wounded as the forces marched to within about 3 1/2 miles of Kilinochchi, the town that has become the main base of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, military officials said. Most of the rebels and many civilians appeared to have fled the town.