Friday, February 29, 2008

Explosion in Modara

An explosion has taken place in Modara area a short while ago. A search operation was going on at the time of blast.

So far 8 people have been admitted to the hospital. Both civilians and police personnel are among casualties. It is suspected that a suicide bomber detonated an explosive laden jacked while being searched.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Update from Mannar and Vavuniya fronts

It has been more than a month since the army officially launched the operation to capture major LTTE bases in Wanni. The operation is spanned across five fronts and is spearheaded by 5 infantry divisions of the army. Out of these battlefronts, Mannar, Vavuniya and Weli-Oya areas have seen the bulk of the fighting for the past week.

Current positions of SLA formations in Vavuniya and Mannar are as follows.

Three brigades of the army's 57th division are spearheading the attacks from Vavuniya front. Their next major milestone is the sacred Madhu shrine which is currently in an area under LTTE control.

Brigade Starting Position Current Position Next Milestone
57-1 Iranai Iluppaikulam, Vauniya Mullikulam LTTE artillery base at Palampiddy
57-2 Vavuniya North Periya Pandivrichcan Madhu
57-3 Vavuniya North Vilathikulam Madhu

The closest distance to the Madhu shrine from SLA positions in the area is 1.75KM.

In Mannar front, the 58th division (also known as task force 01 -2 Commando, 6,8,9 Gemnu Watch, 10 Singha and 10 Gajaba) are advancing towards Adampan. TF01 too has adapted a three pronged strategy similar to that adapted by the 57th division.

Brigade Starting Position Current Position Next Milestone
58-1 Uliyankulam South Parappakandal North Adampan Town Center
58-2 Manthai Vivatennakulam Adampan Town Center
58-3 Uliyankulam West Palaiootru Adampan Town Center

The closest distance to Adampan town from SLA positions in the area is 700m.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another batch of "Sinhala Tigers" undergoing training in Wanni

Few months ago a startling revelation was made when police made a crackdown on a clandestine organization working alongside with the Tamil Tigers. The organization which was named Revolutionary Liberation Front (Viplawakari Vimukthi Peramuna) was lead by Singhalese some of whom even had government jobs. Hence they were better known as the 'Sinhala tigers'. This organization has been blamed for at least two bus bombings, assassination of minister D.M Dasanayake, transportation of explosives and firearms into Colombo, providing cover for black tigers and various other smaller incidents such as isolated grenade attacks carried out disrupt civilian life. 

Although it was common for various individuals and underworld gangs to support the LTTE for money, no one had gone as far as the Sinhala tigers. They planned for a large scale coup and at least 6 of their members had received military training from LTTE bases in Kilinochchi and Mullaithiv.

Although initial police and military intelligence raids saw the capture of several top level leaders of this organization, one key figure in charge of their military wing has evaded capture so far. Adding to the MI's woes, latest reports indicate that another batch of members from this organization is currently undergoing military training in Wanni. Initial revelations made by the female suspect who was arrested for Dambulla bus bombing have now been confirmed through several other sources. Deputy leader of LTTE's intelligence service, Kapil Amman, is said to be in charge of this group. The exact number of personnel in this batch or their objectives after completion of training are still not clearly known.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

LTTE bunker line destroyed : Janakapura

For the past week, the 4th Eelam war raged across three major battlefronts along the LTTE controlled Wanni heartland; Vavuniya, Mannar and Weli-Oya. Most significant gains for the army were achieved in the Weli-Oya front. Small group based attacked which are launched daily by the soldiers of the 59th division have forced the LTTE into a defensive stance especially along the front lines north of Janakapura.

Map image

In the latest round of fighting, army was able to storm a LTTE bunker line in this area with fairly good results. Soldiers recovered 7 dead bodies of LTTE cadres killed in this battle alone. Several more cadres who fled the bunker line are believed to be injured. LTTE later made a push to regain lost ground but this however was a failure. 1 SLA soldier was killed and 6 more were wounded in the incident.

For the past week, the army has recovered nearly 20 LTTE bodies from the Weli-Oya front alone. The actual LTTE casualties may be higher than this figure. More than 30 SLA soldiers too have been wounded in these firefights.

The 59th division is marching towards Nedunkerni, Mullaithiv district. Their ultimate target is the LTTE stronghold of Mullaithiv, where several key LTTE bases including the One-Four base complex, at least one smaller airstrip and several major sea tiger launching pads are located.

Images: LTTE regiments

Here is a list of images of LTTE formations, released by the organization that calls itself 'photography unit of the LTTE'. Although these images are accessible from, it will not be an easy task if you do not know Tamil language.

It is apparent that majority of these images are taken during training exercises. Some images are of course outdated; for example images from the Jejanthan regiment show footage from their bases in eastern province, which fell to the army last year.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Senior female sea tiger killed in air strike

On the 22nd of February, fighter jets of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombed a sea tiger installation in Kiranchchi, west of Kilinochchi. The tigers, as usual claimed that the SLAF jets raided a civilian settlement and presented many photographs of the dead (which included infants) to prove their claim. However latest intelligence reports suggest that a sea tiger base actually was hit in the air raid.

According to naval intelligence sources, the base housed a number of LTTE sea tiger crafts. At least 10 sea tigers have been killed in the bombing and another 12 more have been wounded. Among the dead are a senior female sea tiger cadre (Lt. Colonel rank) who was in command of one of LTTE's larger attack crafts (Surali), a LTTE major and a lieutenant . Exact amount of damages caused to sea tiger assets are not available as of now.

According to our sources, there have been civilian casualties in this air raid. However actual casualty figures seem to be far less that what pro LTTE media initially claimed.

As far as we know, the Air Force does not intentionally target civilians in their air raids. The Liberation Tigers are exploiting this 'weakness' of the SLAF to their advantage. From ammo dumps to sea tigers bases, the tigers are moving their military machine to areas with civilians presence. The Air Force uses multiple intelligence sources to confirm the coordinates of a target before it launches fighters to destroy it. Even with precision bombings on these coordinates, civilians living nearby could also be harmed due to the area effect created by the powerful bombs. By moving their bases into populated areas, LTTE assumes the frequency of air strikes to decrease; SLAF will be reluctant to strike the target fearing civilian casualties and even if they do, tigers will turn their losses into a gain by highlighting the civilian deaths in a bid to win the sympathy of the international community.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Troops recover 6 LTTE bodies : Janakapura

The soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA)'s 59th division launched several pre emptive strikes on LTTE positions north of Janakapura on the 22nd (yesterday). Several bunkers on LTTE's de facto front line in the area have been destroyed. 10 LTTE cadres have been killed in the firefights and troops have recovered 6 bodies of slain LTTE cadres. Five T-56 weapons have also been seized by the troops.

Meanwhile several electronic and printed media reported that the LTTE leader Prabhakaran underwent leg amputation surgery due to the injuries suffered by an SLAF air strike. DefenceNet's sources contradict these reports; LTTE leader's injuries, suffered from air strike, were not serious nor life threatening.

18 injured in bus blast : Mount Lavinia

A powerful parcel bomb placed inside a private bus went off today morning at 11AM in Mount Lavinia causing injuries to 18 civilians. Many lives were saved by the alertness of a passenger who detected the bomb  and the crew who managed to evacuate most of the passengers once the detection was made. The driver, while taking great personal risk, managed to drive the bus to an area with less civilian presence just minutes before the bomb went off. The bus has been completely destroyed by the blast.

The blast comes only a day after the Tamil tigers claimed that the fighter jets of the SLAF attacked a civilian settlement in Poonakari.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Air Force bombs LTTE artillery positions

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets bombed two of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)'s artillery gun positions in Mannar and Mullaithiv today afternoon. The air strikes were launched after the rebels directed 122mm artillery barrages targeting advancing forces of the 58th and 59th divisions in Mannar and Weli-Oya respectively. Precise coordinates of the LTTE artillery launching pads were identified using one of army's firefinder radars which can pinpoint the location of artillery fire originating from enemy territory.

Moving the artillery gun immediately after firing it is a well known tactic employed by the LTTE. By doing so, they aim to minimize casualties and damages caused in the event of a SLA/SLAF counterattack. It is still not known if any damages were done to LTTE assets by the air strikes that were launched today. 

In other news, intelligence sources indicate that the number of LTTE cadres killed in yesterday's battle can be as high as 40. LTTE offensive to recapture areas lost to the army north of Parappakandal was ripped in half by the soldiers of the 57th division who staged a devastating counterattack. LTTE used 9 small attack teams, each comprising of 15-20 guerillas, to attack the army positions in a two pronged offensive that lasted for 3.5 hours. 3 SLA soldiers too were killed and 10 more were wounded in this battle.

Meanwhile army overran 5 LTTE bunkers north of Uylankulama today afternoon. At least 10 LTTE cadres and 2 SLA soldiers were believed to be killed in this incident. Army is marching towards Adampan, the next objective for the 58th division in the Wanni operation.

In the Uva province, civilians of Haye Ala - Buttala, fled their village after an unknown group of armed men were sighted in the area. This was the same area where 3 SLA soldiers were gunned down by LTTE cadres yesterday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Two pronged LTTE offensive beaten back : Parappakandal

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched a pre dawn offensive in the hope of overrunning army defenses north of Parappakandal, Mannar today. Heavy fighting erupted when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers manning newly constructed defenses in the area resisted the LTTE advance. Fighting which started at 1.30AM lasted till 5AM. The two pronged LTTE operation, lead by two of LTTE's senior leaders Sornam and Laxshman, was halted dead on its tracks by the soldiers of the 57th division. According to intelligence sources more than  20 LTTE cadres have perished in this battle. Army resumed its advance towards Adampan town center immediately after the battle.

The latest setback for the LTTE in Mannar front comes days after it lost the second defence line in the strategically important Uyilankulam region. Uliyankulam is one of the entry points into LTTE controlled Wanni heartland.

Meanwhile a group of LTTE cadres who had infiltrated into Buttala attacked an army checkpoint along the Buttala-Kataragama main road today at 11.00AM. 3 SLA soldiers who were on guard duty at the time were killed in the attack. No LTTE casualties have been reported so far.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Army to raise 61st division

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) will soon raise the 61st division, raising the number of active divisions in the army to 13. The new division will mostly consist of soldiers recruited during the period of 2007-2008. The 61st division, like the 57th, 58th and 59th divisions, will be raised as an offensive formation, a concept of Major General Sarath Fonseka. For more details of SLA divisions, please read this article.

The army has been running lengthy recruitment campaigns for the past two years backed by heavy advertising through electronic and printed media. According to our sources, the responses to these recruitment drives has so far been positive. 30000 personnel were newly recruited in the year 2007 alone and another 15000 are set to be recruited in the 2008. So far, 3000 personnel have joined the army during the past two months in year 2008.

In news from the northern front, Military Intelligence has now confirmed that Prabhakaran's official photographer, "Thavam", has succumbed to his injuries in Kilinochchi hospital. It is believed he was seriously wounded in the Radha base bombing on the 14th. Thavam, who joined the LTTE in 1981, has been promoted to Lt Colonel rank, the second highest rank in LTTE hierarchy.

Meanwhile on the 16th, several civilians in Mahakachchikodi alerted the security establishment of a possible LTTE infiltration in Erupothana region. A group of army soldiers who were dispatched to search the area came under hostile fire on the 17th. One soldier was killed in the incident. Yesterday (18th), a claymore mine was set off targeting an army Unibuffel in the same region. 3 soldiers were seriously wounded in the incident and the vehicle too received damages. Security has been tightened in the area following these incidents fearing Thanamalvila type attacks in the region.

Another electricity transformer was blown up today at 2.00AM in the Mundalama area. This is the third transformer to be destroyed in the past few weeks. The electricity board is said to have incurred a LKR 15 million loss due to the destruction of these assets. LTTE are seemingly revisiting their terror tactics in the 2nd and 3rd Eelam wars in a bid to disrupt civilian life in the south.

F-7G fighters to counter tiger air threat

Ever since the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) used two of their light aircraft to bomb the country's main air base, top brass of the SLAF have been busy devising countermeasures. Although ground based anti aircraft defenses and surveillance equipment were quickly purchased, acquiring a dedicated interceptor was continuously delayed (Initially there were plans to buy MiG29 fighters from Russia. These plans however had to be scrapped off due to budget constraints). Due to this reason, LTTE aircraft managed to safely return to base after several mildly successful bombing runs over Colombo.

By now, things have changed. SLAF recently took delivery of six F-7G aircraft which will primarily be used for interceptor role. Unlike the older F-7BS and FT-7 aircraft which the SLAF has been operating for over a decade, these modernized versions feature advanced avionics, upgraded engine, improved radar (KLJ-6E), surveillance capabilities and the ability to fire a range of air to air missiles.

5th Jet Squadron has operated the following aircraft from the Chengdu J-7 family since the early 1990s:

  • CF701 -  FT-7 (Trainer)
  • CF702 -  FT-7 (Trainer)
  • CF703 -  FT-7 (Trainer)
  • CF704 -  F-7BS (Crashed while landing in 2000.)
  • CF705 -  F-7BS
  • CF707 -  F-7BS
  • CF708 -  F-7BS

The new F-7Gs (not included in above list) will also be operated by the 5th Jet Squadron.

Specifications (F-7G):

  • Maximum Speed : 2100 km per hour
  • Range : 850km
  • Weight (Empty) : 5355KG
  • Weight (Loaded) : 7600KG
  • Radar: KLJ-6E with Helmet Mounted Sight (HMS) / Range 30KM

Weapons (F-7G):

  • Cannon : One 30mm Type 30-1 cannon
  • Payload limit : 2000KG (4x 50-500KG - AAM/Free Fall Bombs)
  • Rocket Pods : 12x55mm, 7x90mm
  • Air to Air Missiles (AAM) : PL-5, PL-7, PL-8, PL-9, AIM-9, R550 (KLJ-6E radar and HMS can be used in conjunction to control PL-8 and PL-9 missiles)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

High casualties for both parties in Wanni operation

It was about a month back the Sri Lanka Army officially started the operation to capture LTTE strongholds in the Wanni heartland. The operation, involving 5 divisions fighting along five major battle fronts, has slowly but surely made inroads to LTTE controlled territory in Mannar, Vavuniya and Weli Oya. The operation is still in its first phase and small attack teams comprising of specialized infantry (SI) have been carrying out most of the limited missions. However the way forward has not been an easy ride for the army.

For the past 16 days in the month of February, 41 SLA soldiers have been killed in battle. Another 190 have been wounded. Majority of the injured are in P3 (Walking wounded) category which means that they will soon rejoin the battle (some already have). Close quarters fighting is still rare and bulk of the SLA casualties have been incurred from land mines and LTTE artillery and mortar attacks. Tigers, who were aware of the impending army invasion into their heartland, had taken the time to mine virtually every inch of the area around their forward defence lines in Mannar, Vavuniya and Weli Oya. In addition to the land mines, LTTE have completely mapped the areas surrounding the FDLs. This is to direct artillery fire exactly to the areas that fall to the army. There have been several instances where the tigers intentionally withdrew from their defence lines, directed heavy artillery barrages to the areas just occupied by SLA and then regrouped and counter attacked the advancing forces. Due to these reasons, the SLA advances are proceeding slowly with extreme caution, in a bid to try and minimize unnecessary casualties.

Although the tigers had the territorial advantage in most fronts, defending their line has not been a joyride for them either. For the month of February, at least 250 LTTE cadres are confirmed to be killed in battle. Names of these cadres have been recorded by army intelligence units. Since this is only the number of confirmed deaths and since these figures do not include casualties caused by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) air strikes, the actual LTTE casualty figures may be a lot higher.

Meanwhile the LTTE continued to exploit the Madhu no-war zone to their advantage by placing heavy mortars and 122mm artillery near the sacred shrine. Army's firefinder radars have detected the presence of these heavy weapons inside the church premises a numerous times in the past week but so far the SLA has refrained from counterattacking. MI warns that LTTE's aim is to provoke the SLA into shelling the church in a bid to defame the armed forces in front of the international community. According to intel reports, LTTE has placed a video team in close proximity of the Madhu shrine to capture and broadcast the events if SLA launched a counterattack targeting tiger artillery in the church premises. 

Friday, February 15, 2008

Radha base hit hard

Two Kfir bombers of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) 10th fighter squadron took to the skies from Katunayake airbase at around 10.20AM last morning (14th). Their target was a clandestine LTTE military installation located in Vishwamadukulam region, Mullaithiv district (See previous article). In a few more minutes, the jets carried out a precision air strike on the pre identified target which was codenamed Radha base.

Radha base was a large training and logistics base home to some of the most trusted cadres in the LTTE outfit. Military intelligence had previously identified that the base was a central hub of activity for LTTE's so called anti aircraft units. LTTE anti aircraft (AA) regiment had recently caused minimal damages to several fighter jets of the 5th Jet Squadron when they engaged in low flying bombing missions over rebel held territory. Ever since these incidents, LTTE's AA unit has been a primary target of the SLAF.

Although the exact casualty figures or damages caused to LTTE assets are not yet available, ground based intelligence sources indicate that the attack was accurate and well timed. The base was reportedly buzzing with activity when the jets struck. Latest unconfirmed intelligence reports suggest that several of LTTE's truck mounted Anti aircraft batteries have been destroyed in the attack. However please keep in mind that this latest claim is yet to be confirmed by several other sources.

Meanwhile SLAF flew another bombing sortie today, marking the second consecutive day of airstrikes. This time the target  was a sea tiger training base in the Nayaru region. The attack was launched after military intelligence warned of increased LTTE activity in the area during the last few days. Casualty figures are not available as of now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fighter jets raid "Radha base"

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets bombed a LTTE military installation code named "Radha base" today morning.

The base, located north east of Vishwamadu, Mullaithiv district, was raided by SLAF aircraft at approximately 10.30 AM.  Although pilots have confirmed accurate hits on the target, exact damages caused to the LTTE are not yet known. Confirmation of casualty figures through ground based intelligence sources are likely to take several days.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

25kg claymore mine uncovered in Jaffna

A disaster was averted today when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops uncovered a Claymore mine from a suburb in Jaffna. The speciality of this mine was its weight. The mine weighed 25KG, marking it one of the heaviest of the type to be found in the history of Eelam Wars.

It is a well known fact that LTTE uses claymore mines to attack military convoys and VVIP escorts as well as civilian targets such as buses and trains. Average weight of the mines they have so far used hovers around the 10Kg mark. The mine uncovered today surpasses this margin by a good 15Kg. The 25kg mine, if exploded in a populated area, could have caused widespread destruction to both lives and property.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

LTTE artillery hits Thalladi SLA base

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) base in Thalladi, Mannar came under a heavy LTTE artillery attack today morning. 6 SLA soldiers have been killed and another 12 have been wounded in the attack.

Map image

St. Sebastian's church which adjoins the SLA base too was hit by artillery fire. According to our sources the church has been heavily damaged. SLA retaliated the artillery barrage using its own heavy guns stationed in several bases in Mannar region, after which the tiger artillery fire subsided.

Meanwhile heavy fighting raged along the Wanni FDLs yesterday when the Sri Lanka Army advanced from Nedunkandal, Siripurama in Mannar front (58th division), Kalikulama, Udayanagakulama, Periya-Pandivichchan and Mullikulama in Vavuniya front (57th division) and from the Weli-Oya front (59th division). Operations went on as planned in both Mannar and Vavuniya fronts however the Weli-Oya attacks saw relatively high causalities being incurred to SLA. 10 soldiers were killed and nearly 30 others were injured when the army overran 12 bunkers in LTTE's forward defence line in the region. Bulk of the SLA casualties were due to IEDs(Improvised Explosives Devices), landmines and mortar attacks.

More than 30 LTTE cadres are reported to be killed during yesterday's fighting and an unknown number are said to be injured.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tigers place 81mm mortars near Madhu no war zone

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) placed several of their 81mm mortars in the no war zone surrounding the sacred Madhu shrine, to fire at advancing Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers today. LTTE mortar fire originating from the no war zone targeted army positions several times today evening from 4.45Pm to 5.00PM. The army has not yet retaliated these attacks. A 81mm mortar typically has a range between 200m-5KM (range depends upon manufacturer). SLA's current positions are only 3KM away from the sacred shrine. However capture of the shrine could take longer than expected due to the heavily mined and booby trapped terrain.

This is not the first time LTTE exploited the cover of the no war zone. Military intelligence and civilian eyewitness accounts reported of an artillery gun being moved to the area last August. These reports were later confirmed when LTTE successfully used this gun to shell SLA positions in Thampanai and Nochcikulam, causing heavy casualties to the SLA.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

LTTE stations a MBRL in Weli Oya to stop the 59th division

About two months ago, we revealed about the possibility of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) opening another major front in the Wanni operation through the Weli Oya (Manal Aru in Eelam terminology) sector. As predicted, the front lines of Weli-Oya have been heating up due to the sporadic clashes for the past few weeks. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are offering fierce resistance to advancing troops of the 59th division, who are equal to the task.

Military Intelligence (MI) reports from the Weli-Oya front indicate that LTTE has stationed one of their Multi Barreled Rocket Launchers (MBRL) in the region in a bid to prevent the army advance. The weapon is said to be a 12 barreled variant which can fire 107mm rockets over a distance of 7-10Km. A similar weapon was uncovered by the army during the Thoppigala operation. LTTE used this weapon when they staged a counterattack on 5 army positions in the eastern province in the final phase of Thoppigala operation. The damage was minimized as the full 12 barrels were not used, either because of a shortage of ammo or due to some barrels being damaged by continuous use.

A significant turn of events took place in the Weli Oya front when the army's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) ambushed LTTE's regional military commander "Lt. Colonel" Kumaran inside rebel held territory few months ago. Kumaran was seriously wounded but survived the assault. As per MI reports, Kumaran has been reassigned to the Weli Oya sector by orders of LTTE's senior leadership, even before his wounds are fully healed. However his reappearance has not made any drastic changes. The 59th division is still on the offensive. The tigers have been forced to follow a defensive strategy and most of the time have found themselves at the receiving end.

Meanwhile 8 suspicious personnel were arrested by police today in the Minneriya region. Security has been tightened in the Minneriya town where an air base of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is located. This airbase is home to the gunships of the 9th attack helicopter squadron, a prime target of the LTTE according to latest intelligence reports.

Video : Ayu Rakkhanthu Awada

Here is a popular video song that's aired in Independent Television Network (ITN). In tribute to the armed forces of Sri Lanka.

There are two versions of the video.

Video 1: Original video


Video 2: Version that's aired on ITN.

Written By: Rathna Sri Wijesinghe

Artist: Sunil Jayasiri, Sugath Handunge

Music: Sri Lanka Army eastern band

Full credit to original uploader/uploaders.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

DefenceNet : 1 Year

On the 10th of February 2007, DefenceNet officially went online with the posting of our first article. It's been an year since then and a lot has happened during this time.


As most of you may already know, DefenceNet is a site dedicated to the revelation and discussion of news related to the military conflict between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). When we started back in 2007, our primary objective was to create a site that centered on news on the armed conflict without false propaganda or petty politics. Initially it started out as an experiment. We didn't know where it would go and we didn't have any experience with maintaining a weblog. Above all, given the time and connectivity constraints, we weren't sure if we would actually be able to pull this off.


DefenceNet recorded an explosive growth on the number of visitors , from less than a hundred per day in Feb 2007 to several thousand unique visitors per day by 2008.


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Finally we wish that there will be peace in Sri Lanka when we mark our second anniversary!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Theepan silent after air strike

On the 30th of January, soldiers of the 53rd and 55th divisions of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched a pre emptive strike on LTTE FDL on Nagarkovil, Muhamalai and Kilali. More than 30 LTTE bunkers were destroyed in the fierce fighting that continued for some time. Just a few hours after the limited operation, the Air Force bombed an LTTE operations center south of Muhamalai. This base was supposed to be the command center of senior LTTE leader Theepan. Army intelligence units intercepting LTTE communications observed Theepan's radio chatter stop following the air raid. He has not spoken through radio since then.

Theepan's radio silence may not necessarily mean that he was injured or killed in the air strike. It could just be a security measure to avoid further exposure. However a similar set of events occurred when air force bombed the hideout of LTTE's then eastern commander Sornam's bunker during Vakarai operation. Sornam, wounded by the air strike, maintained radio silence until he escaped to Wanni through the jungles of Trikonamadu.

LTTE has assigned two of its senior leaders to the defence of Muhamalai and Nagarkovil defence line following their failed attempt to capture Jaffna in 2006. Since then, Theepan has been credited with thwarting two major army offensives from the Muhamalai front, once in 2006 and again in 2007. He's usually referred to as "Special Commander Theepan" by pro LTTE media.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Clashes continue in Northern front

At least 5 members of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed in clashes along the northern Forward Defence Lines (FDL) which occurred today (7th). Five soldiers who sustained injuries were evacuated to Palaly military hospital. At least 10 LTTE cadres too were reported to be injured. Fighting which broke out at 5.00 am continued for nearly 45 minutes.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) attacked three different military installations of the LTTE in the last two days (6th and 5th). Targets hit on the 5th include a relay station located north of Kilinochchi and a coordination center located in Kaivelukulam, Puthukuduirippu. On the 6th, another LTTE base in Thiruwai Aru, North west of Iranamadu, came under SLAF attack. UAV footage showed increased LTTE activity after the bombing in Thiruwai Aru, which could perhaps be an indication of casualties. The Air Force used precision guided munitions and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in these attacks, all of which were acquired recently.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fighting in Muhamalai, Kilali, Nagarkovil

At least 12 members of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were killed and an unknown number were wounded when the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched a pre emptive strike on LTTE positions along Muhamalai, Kilali and Nagarkovil defence lines this morning. 9 Soldiers of the army too have sustained injuries.

According to available information (unverified) two brigades of the army's elite 53rd division (53-1 Air Mobile Brigade, 53-4 Infantry) and two brigades of the 55th division (55-1, 55-2) backed by T-55 battle tanks of the armored corps and MBRL rocket fire from Sri Lanka Artillery has taken part in the attack.

We can confirm that  4 LTTE bunkers in Nagarkovil FDL, 16 bunkers in Kilali FDL and another 10 bunkers surrounding the A-9 road north of Muhamalai have been destroyed in the attack.

The main objective of these limited operations is to disrupt the stability of LTTE's defenses along the national front (Muhamalai/Kilali/Nagarkovil), not to capture land.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Contact with Water Jet lost after sea battle

In our previous article we reported about the extraordinary sea battle that took place yesterday in the seas off Thalaimannar. Two vessels of the Sri Lanka Navy suddenly came under fire when they tried to investigate a large number of fishing boats docked in the Thalaimannar region. It is now believed that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched the attack after mingling in with the Indian fishermen who had illegally entered the Sri Lankan territorial waters.

SLN command has lost contact with one of its Water Jets following the sea battle. 7 SLN personnel are Missing in Action (MIA). SLN sources claim that it is unlikely that the tigers captured the vessel. LTTE casualties are not known.

Indian fishing boats open fire on SLN vessels

Two fast attack craft (FAC) of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) came under small arms fire from a number of smaller Indian fishing boats in Thalaimannar area yesterday at around 6PM.

Two FACs on routine patrol in Mannar region were sent to investigate reports of a large number of vessels docked in Thalaimannar area. When SLN crafts first approached the suspicious boats, the fishermen had requested help from navy citing technical problems. However the fishing boats had opened fire on SLN vessels when the naval personnel tried to investigate the legality of their docking. SLN had not returned fire using the medium caliber cannons on board the FACs, in order to avoid civilian casualties that would have otherwise caused diplomatic issues between India and Sri Lanka.

According to SLN sources there are about 400 such Indian fishing boats that had illegally entered Sri Lankan territorial waters.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Explosion in Weli-Oya

A bus transporting civilians between Janakapura (Weli-Oya) and Parakramapura (Anuradhapura) has been hit by a claymore explosion near the Kobbekaduwa junction in Atha Watunu Wewa area at 3.45PM today.  10 civilians including 2 women have been killed and at least 17 have sustained injuries in the incident. 2 soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) have also been killed in the blast.

The village of Atha Watunu Wewa has been vulnerable to LTTE attacks ever since fighting erupted between the Sri Lanka army and LTTE in August 2006. The rebels have been accused of directing mortar fire to the village targeting civilian property on a number of occasions before.

Claymore explosion targets army tractor : Buttala

A claymore mine exploded near the 45th mile post in Buttala - Kataragama road today at around 2PM targeting a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) tractor transporting supplies to soldiers deployed in the area. 1 soldier has been killed and another 3 have been wounded in the explosion. SLA presence in the region has been increased ever since the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) exploded a civilian transport bus killing 27, few weeks ago.

An electricity transformer of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) was damaged in an explosion today morning in Mount Lavinia. A house nearby too has been damaged however there were not civilian casualties. Another minor explosion was reported in a swamp near Katubadda today afternoon. There are no civilian casualties reported in the incident.

Meanwhile a Special Task Force (STF) camp in Bakmitiyawa came under LTTE mortar fire early morning today. At least four mortars have fallen inside base premises. Casualty details are not available as of now.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Explosion at Fort Railway Station

A female LTTE suicide bomber exploded herself inside the Fort railway station today at 2.15 PM, causing heavy civilian casualties. At least 5 people have been killed and 95 others with injuries have been admitted to the national hospital. Casualty figures may rise.

The explosion has taken place near the canteen situated in close proximity to the 3rd platform of the railway station. A train bound to Ambepussa has also been damaged in the incident.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have carried out more than 250 suicide attacks ever since they began a battle for a separate Tamil homeland three decades ago.

Explosion at Dehiwala Zoo

An explosion has taken place inside Dehiwala Zoo today at 10.30AM. According to available information, six civilians have been injured in the blast that took place inside the Birds park. A hand grenade is suspected to be the source of the minor explosion. Zoo has been temporarily closed following the blast.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Explosion in Dambulla

At least 13 people were killed in an explosion that took place in Dambulla bus stand today at 7.05AM. According to available information the blast has occurred inside a Kandy-Anuradhapura private bus.

In addition to the 13 dead, over 20 people have suffered injuries. A large percentage of the dead and injured are believed to be civilians who were traveling to attend the "Nelum Mal Pooja" (a religious activity performed by Buddhists) in Anuradhapura today.

Security in Colombo tightened ahead of independence day

With only three more days to go for the Independence day, security in Colombo has been beefed up significantly. A large number of troops from the Army, Air Force, Police and the Police Special Task Force (STF) have been deployed in the City of Colombo fearing LTTE attacks to disrupt the proceedings of the independence day. Military Intelligence had previously warned about possible LTTE attacks during this period targeting both military and civilian targets in the south.

Meanwhile a team of 94 commandos from the Police Special Task Force (STF) passed out yesterday after completing a 3 month long training exercise. Their specialized training was centered around combating terrorism in civilian populated areas. STF has been assigned a major role in security of Colombo after the recent bombings. It currently employs around 8000 highly trained commandos recruited both from within and externally from the police.

Despite security concerns, Sri Lanka is set to celebrate independence day with a show of military might. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Defence Force and the Police are to take part in the independence day parade. SLN is set to show off it's warships SLNS Suranimala, SLNS Sayura, SLNS Sagara and SLNS Samudura along with a range of other Fast Attack Crafts. Air Force will have its own display of Kfirs, Mig27s, F-7s, Mi-24s and various other transport aircraft during the ceremony. According to our information, army's newly formed mechanized infantry brigade too is set to take part in the parade. 

In other news the "Dayata Kirula" exhibition is set to feature a lot of weapons, vehicles and utilities used by the tri forces of Sri Lanka. In addition to these, arms captured from LTTE including their 30 feet long sea tiger vessel "Indumathi" will also be shown in the exhibition.