Paranthan LTTE garrison captured: Troops make headway at Wanni
battles [03rd Lead]
"Paranthan junction and its surrounding areas are
now under the total control of the security forces", latest reports from
the Wanni battlefront read.
The Paranthan LTTE garrison has been captured by the Task
Force -1 troops today (Jan 01) early morning, following hours of
bitter fighting ensued between troops and LTTE, military sources said.
The fall of Paranthan marks the dominance of security forces at the
township after a decade.
The battle for Paranthan began in the early hours on Tuesday (30) when
the TF-1 armor, artillery and infantry battalions commenced launching a
concerted assault on the garrison town while, Army forward domination
elements took on the well fortified LTTE resistance positions during
surprise maneuvers made behind enemy lines.
Troops have also cutoff the vital access routes towards Paranthan along the A-9
road from North and South, reportedly killing
over 50 terrorists, while injuring twice as many numbers during the intense
battles, military source said.
The Paranthan LTTE garrison is strategically located,
approximately 4.5km North of Kilinochchi along the A-9 trunk route and
on the southern sector of Elephant Pass, another LTTE foothold,
according to ground troops.
Troops of the TF-1, commanded by Brigadier Shavendra
Silva, entered the Paranthan built-up assisted with close combat air
support of the SLAF jets and MI-24 helicopter gunships, Wednesday
morning (Dec 31). LTTE resistances and counterattacks were outflanked by
the intense military armour attacks and concentrated artillery and
mortar fire, ground troops said. The fighting was fierce and prolonged
for hours until terrorists were completely beaten by the determined
soldiers, the sources added. LTTE fighting formations mainly from the
Imran Pandiyan unit led by its 'Kilinochchi-in-charge', Velavan and Jerom had made successive attempts to gain lost ground only to be left
with more casualties and damages, military sources said.
Unable to withstand the fury of the combined Army and
Air force onslaught, LTTE terrorists withdrew from the town in total
disarray. Having inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy, troops
are now consolidating defences and advancing further east of the
Paranthan junction, security sources added.
Fall of Paranthan would also
open a gateway to the LTTE's remaining defences at Vaddakkachchi,
and Puthukkudiyiruppu areas on the A-35 road (Paranthan- Mullaittivu),
defence observers asserted. Muhamalai in the southern peninsular neck
will also be untenable for the LTTE, the sources pointed out.
The fall of Paranthan, the well-fortified LTTE
garrison has isolated the southern periphery of the Elephant Pass LTTE
foothold and has also exposed the LTTE's main fortification at
Kilinochchi, defence observers further said.
The chemical factory was the hallmark of Paranthan,
providing direct and indirect income to many locals. In 1986 SLA
positioned a small administrative base at Paranthan, which was linked to
the main base at Kilinochchi. LTTE disrupted civil administration in the area in
SLA liberated it from the LTTE grip during the 'Sathjaya 1
military campaign conducted on Sep, 1996. However, troops had to make a
tactical withdrawal in September 1998", Army sources said.