2ND LEAD (CORRECTION)

Kungchupparanthan: first debacle of SLA in battle for Ki'linochchi

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 November 2008, 22:55 GMT]
Several decomposed corpses of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were still lying within the no-man area between the SLA and Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) frontiers in Kugnchupparanthan no man zone, informed sources revealed on Friday. The SLA soldiers had maneuvered deep into LTTE trap, according to the source, which said it was the first debacle of the SLA in the battle for Ki'linochchi. At least 75 SLA soldiers were confirmed dead so far, the source said adding more than 160 of the soldiers, who managed to reach back to their barracks, had been injured. The LTTE, which earlier said 43 SLA soldiers were killed and 70 wounded, is yet to release further updates.

Kugnchup-paranthan battle
The informed military source further said that the SLA soldiers had reported losing at least two PK-LMGs, two AK-LMGs, two RPGs, more than twenty-five T56 assault rifles, around twenty-thousand 7.62 mm rounds, RPG shells and grenades among the military hardware.

In the meantime, Mangala Samaraweera, the leader of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party Mahajana wing (SLFP-M) on Thursday said that the fate of one officer and three soldiers, allegedly captured by the Tigers in Kungchupparanthan, was not known. He questioned the Sri Lankan government whether it had taken any step in informing the ICRC to check the whereabouts of the missing soldiers.

This week more than 1965 Sri Lankan Army (SLA) soldiers were injured in the operation against the LTTE in Vanni region, he charged.

700 critically injured soldiers were admitted to Anuradhapura Military hospital, another 700 in SLA Hospital Colombo, 250 in Colombo National Hospital, 160 in Sri Jayawardhenapura Hospital, 90 in Ragama hospital and 65 in Kalubowila hospital, according to Mr. Mangala Samaraweera.


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