The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) now has the full control of A-9 (Jaffna-Kandy) highway for the first time in several years. The entire Elephantpass area including the former tiger stronghold of Pallei too is now under SLA control. The former EPS base complex which was manned by the 54 division and overrun by the tigers in 2000, too has been recaptured. An official announcement on the capture is yet to be made. Most of LTTE’s 1000-1500 strong force deployed in this area have fled towards their final remaining stronghold in Mullaithivu. The rest has been killed by the army.
There was however one incident reported yesterday in Pallei. Lt. Colonel N.Kumarasinghle of the SLA who was attached to the Air Mobile Brigade, was killed due to an IED explosion during a search and clearing mission.
LTTE fiercely defended the Muhamalai, Nagarkovil and Kilali axis on several previous occasions which resulted in many casualties for the army. However the SLA, with all the disadvantages on their side, were able to capture two of the tiger’s forward defence lines in these battles. With the 58 division’s capture of Paranthan and their entry into southern EPS, the LTTE fighters along the national front found themselves facing the wrath of 3 divisions advancing from three different directions. This is when LTTE’s final defences in the Muhamalai/Nagarkovil/Kilai axis collapsed and their fighters fled to Mullaithivu.