Sri Lanka: July 31, 2000

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mso-bidi-language: AR-SA"> Fighting in the north continued, with 19 rebels reported dead and five soldiers wounded. The government expects that thousands of new LTTE troops will be ready for combat in mid-August. These new fighters were those recruited from newly captured territory in Jaffna several months ago. This training is one reason why the LTTE offensive operations have ceased, the more experienced LTTE officers are away in training camps getting the new recruits ready. Meanwhile, the government is bringing in new warplanes from Israel, attack helicopters from Russia and artillery from several sources. The army has also reformed its leadership, getting rid of many incompetent officers and treating the troops better. This has improved morale and made army combat units more effective.

 

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