The Tigers said they had pushed through a no-man's land that separates rebel and government territory and destroyed army checkpoints on the other side. They claim they are now advancing along the main road that connects the peninsula to their territory. The military said it had lost communications with its troops in the area.
"We have completely destroyed the army checkpoints at the Muhamalai (border) crossing, and we are advancing on Jaffna," a Tiger official at the rebel Voice of Tigers radio station said. He said the separatists' feared Sea Tiger wing had attacked south of Jaffna town and struck a navy base at the island's northern tip before dawn. Residents who live along the path of the Tiger advance had been told to leave immediately. Around 40,000 troops are stationed in Jaffna, which is cut off from the rest of the Indian Ocean island by rebel territory.
The eastern port of Trincomalee came under heavy artillery bombardment from Tamil Tiger fighters on Friday which is used to supply the Jaffna peninsula. The Tigers had claimed government troops were trying to cross a "border" into their territory and that hundreds of civilians were fleeing from army shelling. "They are firing artillery and trying to breach our borders," a Tiger military spokesman said from the northern rebel town of Kilinochchi. "We have no details of any break through the lines," said Robban Nilsson of the Nordic ceasefire monitoring mission, adding that the fighting on new fronts in the north and east was alarming.
The government has said it will not halt operations in the north until it controls a disputed waterway in the east and an irrigation reservoir that feeds it - which started the fighting in the first place 18 days ago. The Sri Lankan military has announced an indefinite curfew in Jaffna keeping shops closed people in their homes. Sri Lanka's Tamils consider Jaffna their cultural homeland. The Tamil Tigers began fighting in for a separate homeland for the country's 3.2 million Tamils in 1983. A ceasefire in 2002 stopped a civil war but the truce has nearly collapsed with almost daily violence in recent months.
Source: Aljazeera.netGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16