Archive for March 24th, 2008

Despite continuous rain, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been engaged in firefights in the Mannar front for the last few days. Heaviest fighting was reported in the area between Parayakulam and Illanthevan where the troops gained control of around 1 square km area last Saturday (24th).

Pro LTTE media put SLA casualty figures at 55 killed and 120 injured. Our sources flatly deny these claims. The actual SLA casualty figures are less than one third of what is claimed by Pro LTTE Tamilnet.com site. In Parayakulam, 8 LTTE bunkers were overrun during the fighting. Bodies of 10 LTTE cadres which had been left behind when the tigers pulled back from the bunkers were later found by the army. Fighting was also reported in Vavuniya, Weli Oya and Nagarkovil fronts. For the last three days, total confirmed LTTE deaths incurred from fighting at these three fronts exceed 40. At least 5 of the kills were made by army snipers deployed at northern front and at Weli Oya front. The number of LTTE injured is not exactly known.

Mannar front is probably the most affected by the recent rains. Army operations in this area will be reduced until the weather improves. There are many threats posed by the continuous rain; The wet and muddy ground is a nightmare for armored corps. Maneuverability of heavy vehicles becomes much more difficult in soggy ground. In addition to this, it is near impossible to detect enemy trenches and deathtraps if the area is flooded by water; this is lethal to vehicles and soldiers alike. Usually, the locations where mines are placed are mapped by the party which places them. However, if the rains are heavy, the gushing water could change the location of buried mines. If this happens, the whole mining and mapping process will have to be repeated. Last but not least, flooding is bound to worsen the sanitary conditions in the affected area. This can cause the spreading of water borne diseases.


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The Sri Lanka Army recovered 11 bodies of Tigers killed in the Parayankulam Forward Defenceline readjustment. The Sri Lanka Army claims it killed 52 LTTE cadres in this fight. LTTE sources claimed 55 Sri Lanka Army personnel were killed. Yesterday alone the Army confirmed killing 25 cadres while losing 4 of its men while 25 others were injured. The fighting continues despite bad weather and flooding.

The Army says it collects LTTE bodies whenever they can without endangering the life of its troops. There is evidence that the LTTE withdraws whatever remains of its cadres it could find and abandons these inside their control area. 9 such bodies were recovered recently.

The breakdown in the LTTE’s defenses is becoming clear as small groups of civilians from Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu had started surrendering to the Sri Lanka Army after a perilous journey risking life and limb. By last week, a total of 107 civilians had surrendered to the Army for the month of March alone.

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