Troops from the Sri Lanka Army’s 55 division moved into Challai yesterday (27th) evening. Challai LTTE defences (located south of Chundikulam) were breached in several places in the advance. SLA have not officially declared this area captured yet as search operations are still continuing. The large number of land mines and booby traps placed by the tigers have considerably slowed down clearing ops. Capture of Challai is significant to the army as it’s home to one of the last remaining naval bases of the LTTE. 55 division is commanded by Brigadier Prasanna Silva, a former Special Forces commander who chased LTTE out of Vakarai back in 2007.
Military intelligence (MI) earlier received information that LTTE had hidden its light aircraft in Challai region. So far however, no traces of such aircraft have been found.
Meanwhile a large group of civilians fleeing into government controlled territory were attacked by LTTE yesterday morning. MI estimates the number of deaths to exceed 20 in this incident alone.