Sunday, February 11, 2007

All LTTE cluster bases in Ampara overrun by STF

Special Task Force (STF), the commando units of the Srilanka Police have successfully overrun all the LTTE cluster bases in the Ampara district in Operation Definite Victory (Niyathai Jaya). This limited offensive was started to rout the tigers from the dense jungles of Kanchikudichchiaru, where frequent child abductions took place.

More than 800 STF troopers, backed with artillery, Unicorn Mark Buffel armoured vehicles and SLAF Mi-24 gunship support, marched from the Bakmitiyawa region into the LTTE controlled jungles of Kanchikudichchiaru, several weeks before. Since then, STF has been able to capture over 20 LTTE bases located in the jungle. These bases include several major bases (including main LTTE base at Ampara codenamed Stanley) , mini bases, intelligence camps, logistics bases, one camouflage clothes productions center (Janak Base), hostipal complex (called by tigers as Theepan memorial hospital) and one LTTE women fighter camp (Diana Base). During the offensive, STF encountered little resistance from the tigers. However, large hauls of weapons and ammunitions, vehicles, teleivision sets, satellite communication equipment, generators and on one occasion even a large quantity of Condoms (!) were left behind by the fleeing LTTE cadres. Interestingly, many of these items were found to be donated by non governmental organisations (NGO) as relief items to civillians. As of 11/02/2007, all LTTE cluster camps in Ampara district have been either destroyed or captured by the police commandos. Whether the LTTE will hitback to re capture these areas remains to be seen. However, with the fall of many strongholds such as Vakarai in the eastern region recently, such a move seems unlikely in near future.

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