ICRC receives bodies
Roy Denish, Colombo
12.45 Monday, Colombo.
At least 126 bodies of those soldiers killed in the fighting at
Elephant Pass were handed over to the ICRC officials at
Kilinochchi by LTTE this afternoon.
An ICRC spokesman said that the bodies will be transported to
Vavuniya by tonight to be handed over to the Sri Lankan army
officials. The spokesman Harsha Gunawardene told LAcNet that
there would be no further transfers for the day since the ride
from Kilinochchi to Vavuniya takes at least six hours.
The soldiers perished at Elephant Pass, when Tiger rebels
launched the bloodiest attacks on the military garrison on
Saturday afternoon killing an unknown number and wounding scores.
On Monday, the army commander Lieutenant General Srilal
Weerassoriya told a hastily arranged crowded news conference that
only 88 soldiers including four officers were killed and over 400
wounded in action.
But military observers in Colombo refuted the claims by the
commander and said the figure is much higher and the government
was not willing to divulge the casualty figures since it would
hurt the government's chances of being re-elected at the general
election scheduled in September this year
Meanwhile, the LTTE on Monday night claimed that its cadres had
seized an "unprecedented haul" of weapons from the military
garrison, the governments most valued and coveted real estate of