Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: The largest hostage rescue mission in the world launched

Sri Lankan Armed forces have now undertaken the world's largest humanitarian operation in the world, as the LTTE terrorists have taken thousands of civilians in the No Fire Zone [NFZ] hostage. Sri Lanka Army has almost swept away terrorists strongholds in the northern anterior of the 12 kilometres long NFZ demarcated for the civilians and now limited their mop up operations to the southern anterior.

Sri Lanka Army 58 Division soldiers are spearheading the rescue operations as they have established their positions closest to the NFZ border, West of Ampalavanpkkanai and South of Puthumathalam. Troops have identified the best accessible routes for the civilians to come out of the NFZ and established rescue points there. According to the defence sources, some of these rescue points are located just 150 metres short of the LTTE built earth bund on the NFZ border.

" Troops continuously keep the civilians informed about the safe routes to the cleared areas as they open up more escape routes to the civilians by removing terrorists blockades", said the sources.

"Public address systems have been a positioned at several locations closest to the NFZ to convey these information to the civilians", the sources added.

Meanwhile, troops of 58 Division rescued 386 hostages including 157 children, 98 women and 137 men during the daytime yesterday (Apr 9). The civilians so rescued have told the correspondent that the LTTE has been committing horrendous crimes to prevent civilians leaving their hold.

" There is no safety zone anymore, they (LTTE cadres) are putting bombs and traps on all possible escape routes available for us. They fire machine guns, throw hand grenades and even fire mortars at people when ever they feel that people are organizing to escape", a youth have told.

The rescue mission is also supported by limited offensives by troops conducted to make room for the hostages to come out of the LTTE hold.

Troops of 10 and 11 Sri Lanka Light Infantry [SLLI] last morning attacked terrorist positions located Puthumathalam South causing heavy damages to the enemy. Troops during the subsequent search, collected seven bodies of LTTE cadres, nine T-56 rifles, one radio communication set and a tractor. Intercepted LTTE radio transmissions confirmed 10 LTTE cadres killed in this confrontation. Also, a sniper deployed in the forward area confirmed shooting down of one LTTE cadre.

Meanwhile, Army 53 Division engaged in mop up operations in the southern anterior of the NFZ, north of Nanthikadal lagoon, had daylong clashes with the terrorists. Troops found one body of slain LTTE cadre, 18 T-56 rifles, one micro pistol and one small machine gun (SMG).

Rescue operations is in progress.

Courtesy: Ministry of Defence