More than 22 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed and at least 53 wounded Monday when the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) put up stiff resistance against the SLA offensive units that advanced in Akkaraayan area, southwest of Ki`linochchi district, the Tigers said. Releasing photographs taken from the battlefield where they recovered four SLA dead bodies and seized rocket launchers and machine guns, the LTTE officials told media in Vanni that the SLA was pushed back. Clearing mission was still going on, the Tigers said. Meanwhile, SLA officials in Colombo put their casualties as low as 3 killed in action and 9 wounded.
The Tigers, who didn`t specify their losses, said casualties were minimal despite heavy fighting on Monday. The SLA officials in Colombo claimed that 18 Tigers were killed in the fierce battle east of Akkaraayanku`lam tank, on Theurmu`rika`ndi Road.
Meanwhile, LTTE officials in Vanni told media that the SLA advance was repulsed as journalists witnessed Tigers bringing arms seized from the battlefield in several vehicles.
At least six Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers, five AK-LMGs, four PK-LMGs, two shoulder fired Light Anti-tank Weapons (LAW), more than twenty T-56 assault rifles, grenades and several military equipments were among the military hardware seized by the Tigers, according to earlier reports.
The fighting that ensued amid heavy artillery, MBRL fire and MI-24 fighter was brought to an end in the evening.