Battle of Jaffna (2006)

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The Battle of Jaffna was a battle fought in two phases in August and October 2006 for the Jaffna peninsula. It was the fourth battle for the peninsula since the start of the Sri Lankan civil war.


Tamil Tiger offensive[edit]

On August 11, 2006 fighting was renewed for control of the Jaffna peninsula, after six years of a World War One-like stalemate position. The city of Jaffna had been cut off by land from the rest of Sri Lanka after the Tigers (LTTE) overrun the Elephant Pass base in early 2000. The only way the city was receiving supplies and fresh troops was by sea.

The Ltte Launched a preemptive attack on the Main SLN base (China Bay) in Trincomalee. The objective of the attack was to capture the naval base for at least couple of weeks and thereby cut off the supplies for the 30000 troops in the Jaffna peninsula. The major offensive against the trincomalee harbor was met with immediate resistance forcing tigers to retreat with heavy casualties after days of fighting. Even the offensive failed the tigers launched a massive ground attack on the forward defense lines in Muhumalai and Nargakovil.

Initially the Tigers broke through SLA positions and advanced north toward Jaffna, but after 10 hours of fierce fighting they were beaten back and returned to their original positions. The Sri Lankan government claimed that up to 700 rebels and 150 soldiers were killed in only 5 days of fighting by August 16. Another 300 soldiers were wounded.[1][2]

The LTTE continued multiple waves of attacks with their troops form the Charles Antony brigade and Jayanthan brigade but was beaten back with heavy casualties. By the end of the week the tigers stationed themselves in their previous defence lines.

SLA offensive[edit]

Two months later, on October 28, an army offensive was launched from the city against rebel territory. SLA troops advanced only a few hundred meters into LTTE territory when they were hit by heavy fire. By the next day the SLA offensive was broken. It resulted in the biggest loss of life for the military in four years with 129 soldiers killed and 519 wounded. The rebels claimed that they lost only 22 fighters, while the army said that they killed 400 Tigers. Nevertheless, the army suffered a humiliating setback. During this time the army accused the Tigers of massacaring 74 soldiers from a unit that was surrounded and captured. The Tigers denied it.[3][4]


Whatever the number of dead and wounded neither side gained any ground and both sides were back where they started from by the end of the battle. In all, the government of Sri Lanka claimed that 700-1,000 LTTE fighters were reported killed along with more than 300 soldiers in the period from August 11 to October 29.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " - Fighting Escalates in Northern Sri Lanka". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Al Jazeera English - News". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "478 killed in Jaffna peninsula". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Srilanka Assessment 2014". Retrieved 7 October 2014.