Two of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA)’s offensive formations (57 division and 58 division) are now moving towards Kilinochchi in three directions. Heavy fighting has been raging across the southern and western borders of the town since Sunday (23rd). Both parties have suffered heavy casualties with around 50 SLA soldiers being killed and 120 more being injured. 10 other SLA personnel have gone missing in action (MIA). Exact LTTE casualties are not available as of this moment but intelligence units believe them to be over 50 KIA and 100+ WIA. Casualty figures are likely to rise as operations progress.
Bulk of the SLA casualties were caused by heavy weapons fire, mines and IEDs. In addition, advancing forces had to withstand several large scale counterattacks launched by the LTTE. Earlier, LTTE had deployed a significant number of experienced cadres to this area in a bid to prevent the fall of their de facto capital. Even amidst heavy resistance, forces have reached the newly constructed earth bund around most part of Kilinochchi. This is being attacked from the direction; Pudumurippukulam south, Akkarayakkulam north and Murukandi.
Heavy fighting as troops fight on despite casualties
It rained incessantly for the fourth consecutive day today in the Wanni. Troops continued their operations despite the weather and heavy LTTE resistance.
Heavy fighting erupted on Sunday after 58 Division troops broke through an LTTE earth bund along the Pooneryn-Paranthan road. The 58 was able to advance only 2km when heavy LTTE resistance forced them back. 90 casualties were reported to the 58, 12 of which were deaths.
The 58 had 6km to advance along the Pooneryn-Paranthan road but these 6km is completely open terrain. Like in Sempankunduvillu, Tigers launched attacks from well defended positions. Field Commanders told DefenceWire that they will achieve their objective no matter what.
On that day itself, total casualties to troops was 160, majority of whom were in the P3 and P4 categories. These included casualties from fighting in Kokavil, Murukandi and Weli Oya. This is an indicator of LTTE determination to resist, which is welcomed by the Army.