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LTTE abandons Muhamalai 
[24 Jan 2001]

LTTE withdrew Muhamalai after heavy attacks by the army on Monday night.  The Chief of Defence staff, General Rohan D S Daluwatte said, troops were able to capture approximately eight square Km of strategically important high ground at Muhamalai, including two and a half Km of Jaffna-Kandy road.  

General Daluwatte further stated that the troops consolidated their positions to a great extent.  General Daluwatte pointed out that troops have now straightened their frontiers from Kilali area to Nagarkovil area.  

On Thursday, LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham threatened to drive the army away if the government continue with the ongoing military campaign in the Jaffna theatre.  Military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne streessed that LTTE will not gain power to recapture the areas that troops have won over in the operation "Kinihira IX".  The forces chased the LTTE out of two villages Ponnar, Avarakadu and Muhamalai and 16 square kms had been regained as a result of the "Kinihira IX", which rolled back the LTTE towards the Elephant Pass.  Troops didn't suffer heavy loss of lives.

Elite LTTE units led by some of Velupillai Prabhakaran's trusted lieutenants were reported to have suffered heavy losses in these engagements military officials said.  Units led by self styled colonel Bhanu, Theepan and Soosai suffred heavy losses while LTTE's so called Jeyarathan's brigade and Victor anti-tank regiment too lost quite a number of men in action.  Colonel Balraj's elite strike force too suffered in engagements, the sources confirmed.      




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