The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers deployed in the Vavuniya-Mannar region have made inroads into LTTE's stronghold in Wanni with a series of successful group based attacks. LTTE has been forced into a defensive stance in these areas as the armed forced increased the number of 'hit and run' style attacks guerilla frontline positions.
During the past week, fighting was reported mainly in the areas of Thampanai, Periya Thampanai, Mullikulam and Vilaththikulam. More than 20 LTTE cadres have been killed in these fights and a number of their frontline bunkers were overrun and destroyed. Army casualties stand at 2 soldiers killed and 9 more wounded. Although the LTTE FDL was breached at several locations in these areas, the army did not gain any new territory. The objective of the group based attacks is not to capture territory but to destroy as many enemy assets as possible.
Another factor that is helping the army's advances is the inexperience of LTTE cadres deployed in the frontline near Vavuniya and Mannar (For more information view this post). These young fighters are facing the army's crack formations such as the Special Forces and 57th division. However LTTE is yet to deploy its 'elite' formations such as the Charles Anthony brigade and Imran-Pandiyan regiment in a bid to halt the army advance. It is assumed that they will use these units when/if the army launched a mass troop movement into Wanni heartland.