MORE THAN 5000 TAMIL CIVILIANS ESCAPE WHILE ARMY REPORTS HUGE EXPLOSIONS WHERE LTTE LEADERSHIP HIDING AND THEIR RADIO GOING SILENT
Posted on May 14th, 2009
By Walter Jayawardhana
“Troops of 58 Division since last morning started maneuvering southwards along the coast on the Eastern border of the newly declared civilian safety Zone, and have been able to eliminate LTTE strongholds up to the Farah III shipwreck , located on the Kariamulliwaikkal coast.”
Farah 111 is the Jordanian Merchant ship the LTTE hijacked some years ago, when it was in the Mulaittivu waters.
“According to the sources, the shipwreck has been the main costal stronghold of the terrorists, on which their heavy machine guns were placed. The soldiers had to encounter stiff resistance from the terrorist manning the shipwreck when they posed the open beachhead this morning. Infantrymen of 11th Sri Lanka light infantry and 12 Gajaba Regiment upon reaching the location have attacked and destroyed the dinghy boats on which the terrorists had attempted to escape
“Meanwhile, a huge explosion has been reported in the civilian safety zone where the LTTE leaders are currently hiding in. According to the reports, the soldiers have heard the explosion around 6.30 P.M , after which they have observed thick black smoke rising above 200m from the ground. Following the explosion, all radio communications among the LTTE units have come to a standstill, the reports added.
Reports from 59 Division said that 4 civilians were killed and 14 others suffers serious injuries when the terrorists opened fire at them as they sought refuge with the soldiers.
Sri Lanka Air force has airlifted 12 of the injured to the government hospital Anuradhapura.
An earlier website announcement said, “Military formations advancing in three fronts determined to rescue civilian hostages held by LTTE at the newly declared civilian safe zone, at Velamullaivaikkal have succeeded in their objective this afternoon (May 14), with an estimated number of over 1500 civilians freed from LTTE hostage.
“According to ground military sources, the civilian exodus is continuing with people seeking protection with the 59 Division troops now operating North of the Wadduvakal causeway. The three frontal simultaneous military surge led by the 58, 53 and 59 Divisions have denied LTTE, strategic ground advantage also thining-out the LTTE’s lines of defences, providing enough escape route for hostages, security sources said.
“Meanwhile, terrorists have continued mounting indiscriminate shelling and mortar attacks at both hostages and troops, military said. According to Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, 12 hostages injured due to indiscriminate LTTE small arms attack were airlifted from Mulliyaweli to the general hospital at Anuradhapura.
“Sri Lanka Army 53 and 58 Division are now sweeping around the new civilians safety zone, reveal latest reports from the battlefront. Meanwhile, 59 Division troops have been able to rescue about 1000 civilians held hostage by the terrorists in the Vellamullivaikkal area, the sources added.
“According to the sources, over 1000 civilians have been able to seek refuge with the soldiers of Army 59 Division manning the southern frontage by this afternoon (May 14). Also, another 200-250 civilians have been received by troops of 58 and 53 Divisions.
“Reports further say that the infantrymen of 11 Sri Lanka Light Infantry have spearhead the advance along the north-eastern coast and established their positions few hundred meters short of the Farah III shipwreck.
“Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Navy is currently assisting the ICRC mission of rescuing civilians via sea route. According to the sources, the ship Oriental Princess has taken 500 MT of essential items to Mullaittivu and the MV Green Ocean II is currently waiting at the Mullaittivu coast to receive patients from the LTTE held areas.”