Heavy fighting ensued south of Chalai in general area Mulaitivu when a wave of LTTE infiltrators and attack teams targeted a weak point in the forward marching divisions last morning. The infiltrators were first spotted by the 55 Division as they targeted the boundary of two brigades of the 55 and 58 Divisions. The exact casualties to both sides will be revealed later.
During Oyatha Alaikal 1, 2 and 3, the Tigers successfully collapsed the Army’s divisions by attacking them at the seam. This usually results in the two respective Divisions and their affected Brigades, Battalions all the way down to a platoon being split, thus opening up a gap through which the Tigers could flank the Divisions.
But this type of operation requires high morale, manpower and firepower on the part of the Tigers and weak leadership and morale and also inferior field tactics and strategies on the part of the Army, both of which were unavailable yesterday. A tactic like this will have little effect particularly on an Army which has 3 Divisions, 5 Task Forces and a Special Forces Brigade on reserve.
In many of the unfortunate occasions where this has happened to the Army, it happened due to low morale and inferior leadership on the part of some officers. Some Field Commanders– from Platoon COs upto Brigade COs were concentrating on their own respective unit and not on the counter attack.
Meanwhile the LTTE has started another scam to discredit the Army and to give their fighters a fighting chance. The scam is to pose-off injured fighters as civilians who are handed over to the ICRC inside the civilian safety zone. From there these ‘civilians’ are registered by the ICRC and handed-over the the Sri Lanka Navy. The Navy will then transport them to Trincomalee Hospital.
Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence have so far identified 30-40 such fighters from among the ‘civilians’. They cannot be arrested or detained nor can they be rehabilitated like surrendees. If they are resettled once recovered from the wounds, there is a possibility that they might operate as insurgents from among the civilians.