Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) have been engaged in fierce firefights in the no-man's-land ahead of the Vavuniya-Mannar defense line for the past week. Nearly 20 LTTE cadres have been killed in these battles. SLA units involved in these limited offensives too received casualties mostly due to enemy artillery fire.
Special Infantry (SI) formations of the 57th division moved ahead of their bunker line into the LTTE controlled territory to carry out several successful strikes on rebel positions on the 15th. First of these strikes was launched on a target in Mullikulama area. LTTE pulled back to defensive positions after a fierce battle. SLA troopers recovered 7 bodies of LTTE cadres killed in the battle. These were later handed over to the International Red Cross.
Another such attack took place near Vilathikulam in which the army killed four more LTTE cadres. SLA have been increasing pressure on tiger positions in and around Vilathikulam during the recent times, possibly indicating the initial step of a major offensive into Wanni. Capture of Vilathikulam will be critical to a future Wanni offensive as it can play a vital role as part of a MSR (Main Supply Route) to the besieged Jaffna region.
Meanwhile the death toll of the Yala LTTE attack has now risen to 7. 6 soldiers were killed in the LTTE raid and another one was killed when the tractor that was sent to transport the bodies of fallen soldiers was hit by a claymore mine. Whereabouts of the LTTE cadres who carried out the attack is still unknown.