Monday, October 22, 2007

Search operations continue in Yaala

It has been almost a week since the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) raided the SLA mini camp at Thalgasmankada and killed 7 soldiers. Major search operations are now underway in the are to find the rebels who carried out the surprise attack. So far, these search operations have had very little success.

Immediately after the raid, a squad of Special Forces soldiers was airlifted from Vavuniya using a Mi-17 transport helicopter. Another Mi-17 was boarded by soldiers of the Commando regiment. Destination of these choppers was Thalgasmankada. Commandos and SF were the ideal choice for the scenario due to their expertise in jungle warfare. Although these elite units stormed the jungles searching for LTTE cadres, they did not have any success. Still, there is no confirmation on the whereabouts of the LTTE cadres who were involved in the attack.

It is believed that between 100-150 hard core cadres along with LTTE's eastern leaders Jeyam and Nagesh have retreated South after the fall of Thoppigala. However, evidence suggests that only around 20 LTTE cadres took part in the raid on Thalgasmankada army detachment.

This is the second time the LTTE has carried out an attack inside Yala sanctuary. In 1997, a group of LTTE cadres stormed into Yala - Palatupana and set fire to the temporary shelters the fishermen had set up.

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