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'Jaffna safe from LTTE clutches' - Jaffna Commander
[12 Jan 2001]

Jaffna Commander, Major General, Anton Wijendra assured that there is no major threat from the LTTE to Jaffna town at the moment and denied reports about LTTE being on the verge of re-taking Jaffna a few months ago.

"If the LTTE was on the verge of victory, would they ask for a cease-fire?" he questioned.

The sudden change of heart by the LTTE raised speculations internationally as well as locally, and according to some political observers it had been a sign of "re-grouping" for a fresh attack on one of the northern quarters. 

According to the Commander, troops had consolidated positions and cleared the retaken Kaithadi, Chavakachcheri and Sarasalai areas of strategic importance and there is no major threat from the Tigers at the moment.

The two important bridges in the A9 main supply route at Kaithadi and Navatkuli, which were destroyed by the LTTE when the army captured the area have been repaired and is open for traffic. The two bridges were retaken after an intense battle during the “Kinihira VIII” operation on December 24, sources said.

The recaptured area totalling 139 square kms was of immense strategic importance for the protection of the Jaffna mainland, the Major said. The LTTE after offering tough resistance in Kaithadi had withdrawn their troops later on to the Pooneryn area across the Jaffna lagoon.




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