Thandikulam–Omanthai offensive

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Thandikulam-Omanthai offensive
Part of the Sri Lankan civil war, Operation Jayasikurui
Date June 10, 1997 - June 25, 1997
Location Sri Lanka
Result Tamil Tiger victory
Belligerents
Emblem of Sri Lanka.svg Military of Sri Lanka Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Casualties and losses
700 killed
1,500 wounded
165 killed

The Thandikulam–Omanthai offensive was a battle for the control of the towns of Thandikulam and Omanthai in Sri Lanka in June 1997.

Battle

The battle began on June 10, 1997 when LTTE fighters attacked the garrison at Thandikulam. They destroyed the bridge on the edge of town so no reinforcements could arrive. While the fighting was raging an arms dump was hit by a rocket, causing a huge explosion that resulted in many casualties. Another dump was also hit shortly after and caused the same result. Helicopter gunships were sent to try and assist the besiedged soldiers, but one of them was badly damaged.[1] Finally the city fell and the Tigers held it for two days taking anything they could.

13 days later the LTTE attacked the town of Omanthai. To get to Omanthai, they had to go through Periyamadu where 250 Sri Lankan soldiers were stationed. As the Tigers attacked, all of the soldiers were so surprised that they deserted their bunkers and left a gap over 1 km long in the camps perimeter. The Tigers took full advantage of the gap by swarming into Periyamadu and pushing their way deeper and deeper into SLA territory. Within minutes the Tigers had reached the main military base of Omanthai. They headed straight for the artillery cannons. In heavy hand-to-hand combat, the Tigers took the city, capturing six artillery pieces as well as several armoured vehicles.

See also

References