Karuna faction attacks LTTE in Muthur
May 8th, 2006
By D.B.S. Jeyaraj
The breakaway Karuna faction of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that calls itself the Tamil Eelam Makkal Viduthalaip Puligal (TEMVP) launched an attack on three tiger positions in the Muthur division of Trincomalee district on Sunday May 7th night.
The LTTE in recent times has established a strong system of FDL’s with bunkers situated every 500 metres.
Three LTTE forward defence line posts in Kattaiparichan, Iraalkuli and Sampoor were attacked simultaneously by the Karuna faction at about 11. 30 pm. The skirmishes did not last more than fifteen minutes.
The TEMVP claimed the attack was a success and that at least twelve LTTE men were killed and many injured. The LTTE however said that the attacks were repulsed and no losses were incurred by them.
The LTTE also says that only attacks on Kattaiparichan and Iralkuli were launched and that no attack was done in Sampoor.
According to informed sources a TEMVP squad led by Markan had left for Muthur by land from Kasankulam where the LTTE had launched an attack on the Karuna faction on April 30th. The bulk of Markan’s men were away from the camp when the attack occurred . They had now regrouped and conducted the attack in retaliation for the assault on their comrades by the tigers.
The men had proceeded on foot along the old “Beirut trail” and reached Muthur via Kattumurivu. Thonithandamadhu and Kallarippu jungle paths. This jungle trail codenamed “beirut” was the route which LTTE men used to move from East to North and vice versa at a time when the sea tiger division had not developed.
After the sea tigers grew in strength the tigers began using Vaaharai – Verugal – Sampoor- Mullaitheevu etc for movement between East and North.
While the TEMVP says that they travelled independently to Muthur and attacked the LTTE there the tigers charge their erstwhile comrades of being ferried to Muthur and attacking them with security force assistance.
A furious LTTE even threatened to attack the army camp in Kattaiparichan if such attacks continued.
“We would be forced to attack the Kaddaiparichchan camp of the Sri Lanka Army if the paramilitaries and government troops continue their attack on LTTE forward defense line in Kaddaiparichchan,” said ,Elilan, Trincomalee district political head of the tigers to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).
According to “Tamilnet”, Elilan had on Sunday evening around 7 p.m. brought to the notice of the SLMM that paramilitaries had been brought down to Kaddaiparichchan SLA camp to launch an attack on LTTE camp.
But the SLMM failed to take any steps to look into the complaint. About three hours later paramilitaries in connivance with the SLA troops launched their attack on LTTE forward defense lines. However the LTTE successfully repulsed the attack. Paramilitaries and government troops had fled to the Kaddaiparichchan army camp leaving their weapons at the scene of attack, said “Tamilnet”.
Mr.Elilan has now informed the SLMM that LTTE would be forced to attack the Kaddaiparichchan army camp if paramilitaries with government troops launch fresh attack on them, “Tamilnet” said.
SLMM monitors visited Kaddaiparichchan and Ralkuli following the complaint by the LTTE that their forward defense lines were attacked by paramilitaries with government troops Sunday night.
Both the security forces and the TEMVP have denied LTTE accusations that the attacks were launched from the Kattaparichan army camp.
TEMVP spokesperson Thooyavan told the BBC Tamil service “Thamilzhosai” that they had not stayed in the army camp. He claimed that they had proceeded independently and launched the attacks.
Denying the accusation Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe told BBC Sinhala service “Sandeshaya” that nobody apart from Army personnel stay in Sri Lanka military camps.
“Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) can come and inspect whether militants are staying in Army camps,” he told bbc.
Meanwhile politico – military observers said that whatever the outcome of the attack the fact that the Karuna faction could infiltrate Trincomalee district in this manner was a significant development. Even if aided and abetted by security forces the TEMVP too had showed it could hit the tigers in their strongholds outside Batticaloa – Amparai.
The LTTE is certain to treat this attack in Trincomalee district very seriously and against that backdrop the tiger threat to attack Kattaiparichan camp cannot be dismissed lightly said these observers.
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