Sri Lanka: November 10, 1999

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SRI LANKA: Remnants of a guided anti-tank missile used by LTTE rebels to destroy a Chinese-built armored personnel carrier have been flown to London for analysis. By all accounts, the missile was a Russian-designed Sagger, Spigot, or Spandrel. The LTTE rebels have reportedly obtained Russian-built multi-barreled rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.--Stephen V Cole

November 9; The government states that the extent of their defeat in the north has been exaggerated, with 101 soldiers dead, 742 wounded and 122 missing. News of the war is tightly controlled, but it is known with certainty that the government has suffered it's biggest defeat in sixteen years of fighting the LTTE. The army retreat appears to have slowed or stopped, but much artillery fire can be heard. 

November 8; The government removed the six senior army officers in charge of troops in the north, including the overall commander. Also announced were losses to date; 89 dead and 645 wounded. Red Cross officials report that few prisoners were being taken, with wounded enemy troops being executed rather than captured. Some soldiers report that there were some mutinies, when officers attempted to force troops to stand and fight.

November 7; The LTTE counteroffensive continues, with army troops being driven out of ten towns. The army has lost over a thousand dead so far. The government has appointed a commission to investigate what is generally considered a disaster for government forces. A week ago, government troops were advancing deep into LTTE territory in the north of Sri Lanka. The army knew the LTTE was massing for a counter attack, but underestimated what it would take to stop the attack. The LTTE forces punched through the army line in several places, panicked the cut off army troops and kept moving into territory recently captured by the army troops.

 

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