Mop up operations in progress in Pooneryn salient; Air Force comes
to troops assistance
Force 1 troops having liberated Poonaryn are now engaged in mop-up
operations in the Poonaryn salient, Defence sources in the filed reveal.
Troops are now clearing their way towards Kalmunai Point (K-Point) along
the 20 Km long narrow land stretch where the LTTE terrorists used to
stationed their artillery and mortar batteries.
Meanwhile , Sri Lanka Air Force has lunched a series
of air strikes in support of ground troops in the Muhamalai area. Air
Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara told defence.lk
that MI-24 helicopters and fighter jets have engaged LTTE artillery and
mortar positions in the area since 6.30 to 9.45 this morning (Nov 15).
Army Chief , Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka
describing the victory to state media said that the whole stretch of
A-32 road from Mannar to Poonaryn has been liberated after 20 years. He
said that troops of Task Force 1 and 57 Division have cutoff the
Poonaryn- Paranthan road (B-69) yesterday and marched for about 8 Km
down the road to Pooneryn junction .
"Then we advanced further and captured Sangupiddy
ferry that connects the road to Thanankiluppu in Jaffna", now the army
has dominated the whole west coast", he said.
Speaking further, he said that it is the first
time after 20 years that the Army has opened a land route to Jaffna.
"We have eliminated large number of terrorists during
this battle, remaining terrorists are now running for their lives across
the Kilali lagoon", he said.
In addition, he said that troops of 57 Division and
Task Force 1 have already started marching eastward towards A-9 road.
"At present, our forces have positioned themselves
about 10 Km west of Paranthan on the A-9 road", he said.
Poonaryn remains a hallmark of the undying courage of
Sri Lanka Army soldiers as they withstood frenetic attack by the
terrorists at the isolated camp in 1993. Army handed over their
positions in the area to IPKF in 1987 and regained them in 1992 in
Operations Valampuri 1 and 2. On 11 November 1993 , LTTE made an attempt
to capture the Poonaryn camp but failed before the courage of Army
soldiers. The incident was excessively misinterpreted as a great debacle
by media with exaggerated army death and casualty figures.
According to records, 824 LTTE terrorists were killed in the military
counter attacks. In mid
1996 , the camp was vacated by the Army as a tactical measure .
Poonaryn - Now
Poonaryn in following LTTE attack in 1993