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.