Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers engaged in an offensive South of Mannar overran the main sea tiger base in Silawathurei region(Silawathura) today. LTTE cadres who were defending the area fled into surrounding jungles, keeping contact with security forces to a minimum. With the capture of sea tiger base, most of the offensive's objectives are now accomplished. However small scale search operations are continuing to hunt down rebels who fled into nearby jungles. At least 12 LTTE cadres have been killed during the offensive (the actual number may be higher than 12 as this is merely the number of bodies recovered by SLA) and 9 army members have been wounded.
The operation involved Special Forces units, Air Mobile Brigade and Sri Lanka Artillery. Before ground troop movement, heavy artillery fire was directed at enemy targets according to intel given by Special Forces long range surveillance teams who had penetrated LTTE defense lines earlier.
Silawathurei was used as a central hub in illegal arms smuggling and was a well known sea tiger launching pad. LTTE infiltrated this region after the 2002 ceasefire was signed. MI has confirmed that several suicide missions too had originated from this base.
Meanwhile pro LTTE media have been blaming the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) deep penetration units for a claymore explosion that resulted in the death of 9 civilians. DefenceNet can confirm that no SLA DPU units were active in the area on the said date.