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TIGER WEBSITE SAYS THE NINE MISSING SOLDIERS ARE NOW CAPTIVES OF THE LIBERATION TIGERS

By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

The Liberation Tigers controlled Eelam Nation website quoting The Voice of Tigers radio said the nine missing soldiers from a patrol that left Kokkuthodu Vai military camp "are thought to have taken as captives by the LTTE."

Earlier the Sri Lankan Army listed them as missing.

Army spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne was quoted as telling news agencies that troops conducted a search operation to locate them but now those nine had been categorized as missing.

The Eelam Nation said six of their own cadres were killed in these battles and gave the following names as officers killed in the battle when they unsuccessfully attempted to capture the army camp at Kokkuthodu Vai : Yogeswaran Perambalam alias Major Nayagam of Jaffna, Pratheepan Balasunderam alias Major Pandimuththu of Jaffna, Naagarupan Murugan alias second Lieutenant Ilangeeran of Mannar , Nandakumar Selvarajah alias Second Lieutenant Maathavan of Kilinochchi and Kandarupan Sabaratnam alias Lieutenant Kandarupan of Mulliyawalai.

The list which sounded like there were more chiefs than Indians listed only one person, Suthantharan Velautham alias Suthantharan of Mulliyawalai as the only private among the dead. Seven Sri Lanka Army soldiers were also reportedly killed in this battle.

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