Tigers prepare final assault

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 May 2000, 17:11 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said Friday they were preparing for "the final push" into Jaffna city. Heavily armed LTTE troops have moved from the Vanni into the newly captured areas for this purpose amid panic and confusion amongst the defending Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops, the Tigers said in a statement from their London offices, adding that civilians were leaving the northern city despite an SLA-imposed curfew.

Five civilians have been killed in airstrikes by Sri Lankan jets, the statement said further. According to LTTE sources in London, they were named as: Vethanayakam Satkunam,54, (father of five), Kandaiah Kamalan,23, Antonipillai Yohapalan,35, and his children, Nixon Yokapalan,4, and Nishanthan Yokapalan,4.

Following is the full text of the press release:

"The combat units of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are consolidating their newly secured positions along the coastal belt of the Jaffna city preparing for the final assault on the heart of the capital.

"Strategically important city outskirts of Ariyalai, Manianthodam, Columbuthurai, sections of Passaiyur, Pungankulam, Nedunkulam, have already fallen to the Tigers making the city centre vulnerable to LTTE assault. Heavily armed Tamil Tiger troop formations who have moved in large numbers from LTTE bases in Vanni into the Jaffna theatre of war are gearing up for the decisive battle.

"Demoralised and shocked by the lightning advances of the LTTE fighting units into the Jaffna municipal area and in Chavakachcheri the command structure of the army is collapsing setting off panic and confusion among the government troops. In a desperate bid to save the city from falling into the hands of the Tamil Tigers, the Sri Lankan army has declared 24-hour curfew. But the Tamil civilians are moving out of the battle zones to safer areas violating the curfew regulations.

"In the meantime, the Israeli built Kifir fighter-bombers have launched blind and indiscriminate bombing on civilian areas in the Jaffna peninsula and in Poonagarin. Five civilians, including two children, were killed and ten seriously injured when Israeli combat aircrafts bombed a fishing village at Pallikuda in the Poonagarin area around 5.30p.m. today."

 

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