Thursday, October 30, 2008

Task Force 1 captures Nachchikuda

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is now in full control of Nachchikuda. Troops from the Task Force 1 (58 division) moved into the village today (30th) evening, after breaching LTTE defenses around the area by yesterday afternoon . Nachchikuda once housed a major LTTE sea tiger base however the guerillas have been moving military hardware further north since the SLA began to gradually surround the area few weeks ago. Small groups of LTTE cadres have also managed to escape, some via sea routes, to the LTTE stronghold of Pooneryn. However a number of remaining cadres did put up a stiff resistance to the SLA advance till the TF1 units stormed their defence line yesterday.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Air Force resumed air strikes on LTTE positions after a long silence. The air strikes come in the wake of another LTTE air attack during which the tigers managed to escape unharmed. According to our information no fighter jets were scrambled during the air raid even though two LTTE aircraft were detected on radar before they entered the skies over Colombo. SLAF later deployed bombers to attack possible landing sites of the Zlins however it was too late and tiger aircraft were then untraceable.

Some may argue about the inaccuracy of the Zlins and minimal structural damage caused by the bombs dropped, but had the bombing on Kelanitissa been even slightly more accurate, the destruction would have been catastrophic. By now the Air Force should have understood that its ground based air defence system is ineffective. Although AA fire from ground did prevent the Zlins from reaching the intended target on several occasions, there is no plausible evidence to suggest that an LTTE aircraft was ever harmed by ground based AA fire after the 9 or so air raids. So far the only success the Air Force has had with the Zlins is the aerial interception on the 9th of September.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LTTE air attacks in Colombo and Thalladi, Mannar

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) light aircraft bombed locations in Mannar and Colombo a short while ago. According to our information bombs have fallen near Thalladi, Mannar where a Sri Lanka Army base is located. At least 1 soldiers was injured in the attack in Mannar.

Meanwhile the air defense system was activated in Colombo and parts of the city was placed under a blackout upon detection of a suspicious aircraft at around 10.45PM. LTTE aircraft managed to drop at least one bomb near Kelanathissa power plant. Resulting explosion triggered a fire which caused damages to parts of the coolant system connected a gas turbine which was currently not in operation. Power supply to other parts of the country continued without interruption.

Reports of smoke and explosions from other areas such as Colombo Harbor and the Kerawalapitiya plant are due to the air defense system being activated. There were no LTTE attacks on any of these locations.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Army to deploy Task Force 3 to Wanni battlefront

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) will soon deploy Task Force 3 (TF3) to the Wanni theater of battle which is getting heated up by the day. TF3, which is raised with both offensive and defensive capabilities in mind, will mostly likely be deployed in areas recaptured recaptured by the army’s 57 and 58 divisions. Deployment of TF3 will no doubt increase SLA’s ability to defend a possible LTTE counterattack similar to the unceasing waves.

Meanwhile the operations to capture Kilinochchi and other areas are continuing at a slower pace, partly due to torrential rains and due to heavy resistance from the tigers.


Image: Transportation of supplies to the frontline and casualty evacuation have become difficult due to torrential rains

Despite the bad weather, soldiers are determined to continue their advance, even at a slower pace. Fighting erupted yesterday (26th) north of Akkarayankulam, Adampamudai, Kalmadu in Kilinochchi (58 division), general area Kokavil (57 division) and north of Andankulam in Mullaithiv (59 division). Increased CS gas attacks by LTTE on advancing troops could be observed in the past two weeks, specially on Kilinochchi front. More than 50 soldiers were affected by these attacks and around 20 had to be hospitalized for further treatment. There were however no deaths from gas attacks, contrary some media claims.

Meanwhile military intelligence believes that senior LTTE leader Bhanu suffered minor injuries when his based in Kilinochchi was hit by SLA fired artillery shells yesterday (26th). At least 5 other LTTE cadres are believed to be injured as well. This report however is not confirmed as of yet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Suicide attack on KKS – One ship damaged

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched a sea borne suicide attack targeting two merchant vessels Ruhuna and Nimalawa near KKS (Kankasanthurai) at 5AM today (22nd). Three explosive laden boats manned by suicide cadres were engaged in the attack. SLN personnel on board Nimalawa and Ruhuna successfully engaged the suicide boats and destroyed two of them before they could reach their target. One of the destroyed boats exploded near Nimalawa, causing damages to the ship. The other boat engaged in the attack was captured by SLN. According to our information there are no SLN casualties in the incident.

At least 3 suicide cadres are believed to be killed in the attack. Search operations are continuing in the area. Both the targeted vessels were transporting food to the Jaffna peninsula by sea.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fighting rages south of Kilinochchi

Heavy fighting erupted between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today and yesterday when SLA forces moved further into LTTE territory south west of Kilinochchi. Troops from the 57 division have captured large parts of the LTTE built earth bund at Akkarayankulam, overrunning 19 bunkers in the process. Meanwhile 58 division units were able to gain control of Vennerikulam region, including the Vennerikulam tank, amidst heavy LTTE resistance today. However fighting is still going on in north east of Vennerikulam and Adampanmoddai where small groups of LTTE fighters are still at large.  On the Mullaithivu front the 59 division units at Andankulam captured a 100m stretch of land ahead of their FDL.

Both parties have suffered heavy casualties in the renewed rounds of fighting with nearly 30 SLA soldiers being killed and around 140 being wounded in the past two days alone. Although the LTTE has not issued any official statement on casualties, their casualty figures are much higher as per intelligence reports. Similar bloody battles are expected as troops now seem to be mounting a full scale advance on de facto LTTE capital, Kilinochchi. 

Meanwhile there is still no confirmation on whether Cheliyan was killed in the LRRP attack last week. What is confirmed is that a senior LTTE leader was killed along with two other cadres. No precise intel has been gathered on the identity of the senior leader so far.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tigers protest during Canada T20 tournament

LTTE supporters in Candada showed how desperate they are by dragging cricket into their ‘freedom struggle’ during the T20 Tournament recently held. Extremist elements in Canada supporting the Tamil tigers staged protests several times during the tournament. Protests were held near the stadiums where the matches were being held. Apart from the Eelam flags and usual banners against GOSL, there were several banners targeting Ajantha Mendis; LTTE supporters plead other countries to stop playing with a “Killer from the SL Army”. Ironically, the Sri Lankan team went on to win the tournament and Ajantha Mendis was named the man of the series for his good performance throughout the series. The Sri Lankan cricket team is a symbol of ethnic harmony with players from many races and religions play as a team for one country. Although there was no official statement from LTTE regarding these protests, tigers did officially ask other countries to boycott the SL sports teams (link via proxy for SL users) back in 2007 during the Cricket World cup.

Meanwhile it seems that the LTTE has done some modifications to the suicide belts worn by their suicide bombers. Investigations have revealed that suicide belts used for Major General Janaka Perera’s assassination as well as for the attempted assassination of Minister Maithripala Sirisena contained 2-3KG more explosives than the usual amount. In addition, these belts seemed to do more area damage than the previous versions (iron balls spread in a 360 degrees direction as opposed to 180 degrees in earlier blasts) including to the face of the suicide bomber. More similar suicide bombings are to be expected as the tigers face increasing pressure in the Wanni front.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Deputy leader of sea tigers killed in LRRP attack

Out of all the units in the Sri Lanka Army, the LTTE perhaps fear the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) the most. Their fears were renewed today when LRRP took a price target deep inside LTTE held Wanni. The target was the deputy leader of the sea tigers, Chelian. Chelian and two others are believed to have been killed when the double cab they were travelling in was blown up in a roadside claymore explosion. The incident occurred today at 6.30AM, deep inside LTTE held territory in Mullaithivu.

Chelian once commanded the sea tigers at a time when Soosei was critically injured due to an explosion.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Suicide bombing in Boralesgamuwa, Minister safe

A Tamil tiger suicide bomber detonated an explosive laden suicide jacket targeting the escort of government minister Maithripala Sirisena. The minister has not received any injuries in the incident but one of the vehicles in the escort was damaged. 3 security forces personnel in the vehicle were injured in the blast and one civilian was killed.

The incident has occurred at 1.15PM, near Piriwena junction in Boralesgamuwa.

Explosion in Priwena junction, Boralesgamuwa

An explosion has been reported in Piriwena junction (Piriwena handiya) in Borlesgamuwa a short while ago. 2 people injured in the incident have been admitted to Kalubowila hospital as of now.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SLAF gunships raid LTTE targets in Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi

Offering continued support for the ongoing ground offensives, SLAF gunships of the 9th attack helicopter squadron attacked at least 5 LTTE targets in the north today (8th) and yesterday (7th). The targets attacked today include LTTE gathering points west of Nayaru lagoon, Mullaithiv. An LTTE build up north east of Akkarayankulam was attacked yesterday.

While the air strikes are continuing, ground troops are preparing for a major push towards Kilinochchi. It is expected that the LTTE will dig in and fight to prevent their de facto capital from falling and casualties are expected for both sides. Fighting raged across the FDL south east of Kilinochchi today and yesterday when LTTE launched counterattacks on SLA units on the front line. 12 SLA soldiers were killed in these battles. More than 25 LTTE cadres too are believed to be killed and an unknown number have been wounded. The LTTE has captured a small quantity of arms and ammunition from the SLA. Tigers have deployed its hard core formations on this front in a last ditch effort to save the town from falling. SLA Operations are still continuing despite resistance.

Meanwhile intelligence units report that the Kilinochchi hospital (which is now void of civilian patients) is now entirely being used by the LTTE to treat its cadres wounded in fighting with the SLA.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Major General Janaka Perera killed in suicide blast

A Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber detonated himself in a civilian populated area in Anuradhapura today at 8.50Am ,killing over 15 and injuring over 50. The explosion has occurred while the opening ceremony of the United National Part office in Anuradhapura was underway.

The target is believed to be Major General Janaka Perera, opposition leader of the North Central Provincial council. According to available information, Major General Janaka Perera, his wife, and Dr. john Pulle are among those killed in the incident. Major.Gen Perera was a veteran soldier in the army who had been awarded Rana Soora, Rana Wickrama and Vishishita Seva Wibhooshana medals.

Explosion in Anuradhapura

An Explosion has been reported in Anuradhapura. According to available information the blast has occurred near the old bus stand.

Several being have been admitted to the Anuradhapura hospital due to injuries received in the blast.

Update: According to unconfirmed reports, more than 50 people have been injured. The explosion has occurred during the ceremonial opening of new United National Party (UNP) office in Anuradhapura. Opposition leader for North Central provincial council, Major Gen. Janaka Perera was attending the event according to informed sources.

Friday, October 3, 2008

SLA launches 4th phase of recruitment campaign

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has launched the 4th phase of its recruitment drive for the year 2008. The aim is to recruit 14000 more soldiers for the army by the end of the year. More than 10100 new recruits have already joined the army under this program in the last three months.

Latest recruitment drive comes as the siege on LTTE held Wanni continues on multiple fronts. Troops have advanced deep into LTTE held territory in Mannar/Vavuniya fronts and are now only 3.5km from Kilinochchi town. In Weli-Oya, 59 division units have advanced up to Andankulam. Large stretches of land have been captured during the troop advance and to defend the captured localities, more manpower is needed. There have also been casualties in the daring operations that have been continuing day and night for the past several months. For the year 2008, nearly 850 soldiers have sacrificed their lives and over 5400 have been wounded. This is in fighting across all fronts. 

Meanwhile the Air Force bombers continued to pound LTTE targets in the north. Among the targets bombed today are LTTE’s de facto police HQ and a safe house frequented by LTTE intel wing leader Pottu Amman. Exact casualty details of these attacks are not available as of now. Meanwhile UAV footage of SLAF raids on Charles Anthony HQ and LTTE logistics base at Piramanthaikulam are now online. You can download the the video from here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

GPS devices found in food lorry bound to Wanni

22 GPS devices were found in a lorry transporting food to civilians in LTTE held territory yesterday evening. The discovery was made in UN office premises in Thekkawathaha, Vavuniya while the lorries were being checked by SLA personnel. GPS devices were carefully concealed inside 22 jaggery sacks; one GPS device in each of the sacks. 2 suspects have been arrested regarding the incident. Another suspect was arrested on the 30th when explosives and a large amount of batteries were recover from another food lorry. 9 out of the 51 lorries bound to Wanni are being checked thoroughly for any suspicious items, based on the information revealed by the arrested personnel.

Meanwhile the Air Force continued it’s aggressive bombing sorties on LTTE targets in the north. The latest target to be hit was the LTTE’s de facto administrative HQ 2km north of Kilinochchi.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

SLAF bombers raid Charles Anthony HQ

The Sri Lanka Air Force launched multiple air sorties on identified LTTE targets in Kilinochchi today morning. A location identified as the headquarters of LTTE’s elite Charles Anthony brigade as well as a LTTE base manned by female cadres was also attacked. There are no verified reports on LTTE casualties in either of these attacks yet.

Meanwhile at least 3 LTTE cadres were killed and 12 more were wounded when a tractor transporting LTTE reinforcements was attacked SLA units east of Akkarayankulam. The tractor had around 15 cadres on board at the time it was attacked.


Source: MOD

Meanwhile the army’s 57 division captured a smaller LTTE airstrip located in Panikkankulam, 7Km south of Mankulam, yesterday. The 500m long and 50m wide runway did not appear to have been used frequently. The military believes that LTTE has built several of similar smaller runways in Mullaithiv to facilitate emergency landings of their Zlin143 light aircraft. 

In other news a senior official of the WFP (Word Food Program) based in Sri Lanka is suspected to be part of the plot to smuggle in explosives and batteries to LTTE held territory. More than 28000 batteries and 2.5KG C-4 explosives were found by K9 units yesterday hidden inside a WFP lorry bound to Wanni. One suspect was arrested and the other escaped evading capture.