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 Post subject: Troops capture LTTE's Michael Base
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:08 pm 
Troops capture LTTE's Michael Base
Vedithalthivu, major sea Tiger camp, the largest on the North Western coast is under siege

"The LTTE front lines are pushed back week by week by the Sri Lankan troops. Morale in the army is up, deserters are returning to work, indicating that the military is winning. In response, the LTTE is using bombings, including some suicide bombings, in an attempt to terrorize the government into backing off. LTTE also hope to get some international sympathy for their cause as well. This is unlikely since terrorists get headlines, not sympathy".

@ Agencies/LL / Sunday July 06, 2008

Troops have captured the LTTE’s Michael Base in the Mullitivu jungle, the Defence Ministry said today.

It said the Army’s 59 division deployed in the Welioya front captured the base described as one of the strategic satellite bases of the LTTE's main "One Four Base" Complex situated inside the Mulaithiuvu jungle.

“The troops marching towards North of Janakapura, into the Mulaithiuvu, made this capture after three days of fierce fighting. Soldiers entered into the camp after beating off the enemy last morning and declared the area secured by afternoon,” the ministry said adding that at least 17 LTTE cadres were killed in the fighting.

The base, which extends over 200 square meters, includes several underground defences. The main underground complex covers about 50 square meters and is made out of thick concrete. An underground bunker and five damaged buildings were also found inside the camp premises. The camp was provided with a water supply system and other sanitary facilities to its inmates, the ministry said.

Vedithalthivu under siege

In the mean time, Vedithalthivu, which is home to a major sea Tiger camp, the largest on the North Western coast is under siege. The 58 Division is positioned four km from the sea Tiger camp, which is coming under sustained multi barrel and artillery attacks of the SLA. The capture of Pappamodai initially cut off the supply route to the sea Tiger camp.
There are reports that the Tigers were vacating the camp, yet these reports could not be independently verified.

Last Thursday, three small teams of army commandos of the 2nd Commando Regiment sneaked into the southern perimeter defence line of the sea Tiger camp in Vedithalthivu. They were the men of the Bravo Company of the 2nd Commando Regiment, the veterans of the small group and jungle warfare.

Armed to the teeth, these men approached the Tiger bunker line, carefully avoiding the booby traps and anti personnel mines. When they launched an attack on the southern perimeter defences of the Tiger base, it took the defending Tiger cadres by surprise. The three “four- man teams”- were led by Sergeant Asitha Kumara, Cpl Vanasinghe and Lance Cpl Indika Kumara.

The commandos advanced two hundred meters ahead of the heavily fortified Tiger defenses. During their assault, they decimated five LTTE bunkers. As the battle raged, frenzied radio communications between the Tiger cadres and LTTE Mannar leadership indicated a collapse of the peripheral defences. Yet, the Tigers put up stiff resistance. MI 24 attack helicopters were called in for close air support.

Sergeant Kumara was hit by a Rocket Propel Grenade attack as he raided a Tiger bunker line; Cpl Vanasinghe thrust himself in defence of his wounded comrade. In the meantime, the Tigers inducted an estimated 200 cadres to fight the twelve commandos. During the fight, Cpl Vanasinghe was hit by a shrapnel and succumbed to injuries.
The battle raged for five hours and the Army sent another team of commandos led by Lt Kollurai as replacement. Lt Kollurai was also wounded in the battle. Finally, Lance Cpl Indika Kumara decided to pull back with his wounded and fallen comrades.

Two commandoes were killed in the fighting. Two others were classified as missing and ten others were wounded. Intercepted LTTE communications revealed that 28 LTTE cadres had been killed in the five hour battle. Seventeen cadres were killed in the first thrust of the attack when the commandos decimated five bunkers. The Army said that the troops were in control of seven bunkers.

Mannar Rice Bowl captured

Last week, the security forces announced that the Mannar Rice Bowl had been captured after a protracted military operation which cost the lives of 170 soldiers. The Army said an estimated 2000 LTTE cadres perished in the battle front during the same period.On June 30, troops of the 58 Division linked up with troops of the 57 Division, thereby creating a 75 km flank on the west of Mannar -Vavuniya front. On Monday morning, the troops of the 6 Gemunu Watch attached to the 58 Division advanced from Parappakandal towards Periyamadu to link up with troops of 12 GW which operate in the South of Periyamadu.

High number of casualties

The army believes it has killed about 4,500 LTTE during the first six months of the year, while losing about one tenth that number. In the last three years, since the fighting resumed, over 10,000 people have died (plus another 60,000 between 1983-2002). Since the army went on the offensive two years ago, they have lost about 1,700 dead and 4,000 wounded. The army believes they have killed or captured some 9,000 LTTE fighters in that period. Some of those captured were actually deserters, who are a good source of info on what is happening in LTTE territory.

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