Monday, March 9, 2009

Next 72 hours crucial for LTTE

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan military on Sunday claimed that the war with the LTTE had reached its “final stages” amid reports that the next 72 hours were crucial for the Tigers.

The Defence Ministry said that as Mullathivu battles reached their last phase, LTTE made several desperate attempts since Friday dawn to infiltrate the military’s forward defences which left over 100 Tiger cadre killed and as many injured.

“LTTE terrorists were preparing for a large scale offensive towards the existing military defences at Palamathalan and north of Puthukkudiyirippu, inducting over 200 cadre including suicide bombers and sea tigers,” it said.

The Ministry said that following the initial thrust, terrorists had planned to send waves of 100-odd cadre to provide reinforcements. Bahnu, Lowrence, Soosai and other high-profile LTTE leaders were directly involved in the pre-emptive assault.

“This is the first time during recent battles LTTE has inducted many of its ‘high profiles’ to the battlefront. Yet, timely detection and precise intelligence information received proved decisive as terrorist offensive waves were received with intense military counter attacks at the crack of dawn on Friday,” it said.

The Ministry said that LTTE was making the best of the ‘military tolerance’ of not engaging LTTE positions within the declared No Fire Zone. The land stretch of about 4 km. south of Pudumathalan was being continuously used as a launching pad for LTTE attacks.

Separately, the Presidential Secretariat denied reports in a section of the media about death of some of the internally displaced in the LTTE-controlled area due to starvation.

Source: The Hindu