Over 140 killed in Jaffna fighting

At least 115 LTTE rebels and 28 Lankan soldiers were killed in heavy fighting in Muhamalai, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2006 17:07 IST

One hundred and fifteen LTTE fighters and 28 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed in heavy fighting in the Muhamalai area of south Jaffna since 4 am on Saturday, Sri Lankan military said.

Facing fierce artillery and mortar barrage, and braving claymore mines and booby traps, Sri Lankan ground troops stormed the LTTE's Forward Defence Lines to neutralise its fire power.

On Sunday, the troops were consolidating their positions, the army spokesman, Brig Prasad Samarasinghe told Hindustan Times.

But three soldiers were killed in a claymore mine explosion in Vaasikulam in Vavuniya district on Sunday.

Refuting reports in the websites and the Colombo-based Sunday newspapers that the army was trying to advance to Elephant Pass, which could be a springboard to attack the LTTE's headquarters of Kilinochchi, Brig Samarasinghe said that the troops were not moving forward.

"We are consolidating our position in the Forward Defence Lines in Muhalamai. We are not advancing," he said.

Itwas reported that the Air Force took on targets in Palai and Iyakachchi, near Elephant Pass, raising speculation if Elephant Pass was the final destination of the current offensive.

Phone links with Kilinochchi, which has the LTTE's HQ, remain cut.

There is no power supply either.

First Published: Sep 10, 2006 17:07 IST