Infantry units of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry and Gemunu Watch took complete control over the Mahaoya-Chenkaladi A5 yesterday. With this capture, SLA are now in complete control over 90% of civilian populated areas in the eastern province.
With most of civilian populated areas liberated, troops are slowly but surely marching towards Thoppigala, the last major rebel stronghold in the Eastern province. Instead of charging with all guns blazing, SLA is using 4 man and 8 man teams of Special Forces and Commandos to neutralize primary defence lines of the LTTE. This strategy was proven to be successful in the Vakarai offensive. However, SLA is expected to face stiff resistance from at least 300 hard core LTTE fighters trapped in Thoppigala region as they will be forced to 'fight to death'. Lack of a sea based supply route to Wanni has seriously crippled the tigers and have forced them loot civilian held shops and houses for food.
Meanwhile at least 20 LTTE cadres were confirmed to be killed in an artillery duel which took place on the 10th near Mannar FDLs when LTTE directed heavy mortar fire towards army positions in the FDL and towards Muhamalai entry exit point. 36 lorries carrying food for civilians in the besieged northern region were forced to turn back due to the tiger artillery attack. 4 SLA soldiers were killed and more than 10 were wounded in the incident.