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 Post subject: Largest Sea Tiger base in west coast taken by Army
 Post Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:07 pm 
Largest Sea Tiger base in west coast taken by Army
82 LTTE cadres killed

Thursday, July 17, 2008
@ LL/Agencies


It’s the first time that armed forces have recaptured the Vedithalthivu harbour town β€” one of the biggest towns in the region, around 20km north of Mannar β€” since the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) had captured it in 1990.

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Sri Lanka Army's 58 Division, spearheaded by a few platoons of Commandos from the 2nd Commando Regiment took complete control of the largest Sea Tiger base in the Western Coast at the coastal village of Veduthalthivu in Mannar on Wednesday.

Government troops who captured a key Tamil Tigers sea wing base in the northern district of Mannar on Wednesday are now further consolidating their positions, officials said Thursday.

The Tiger cadres operating in the area withdrew towards further north of Vidathalthivu on the North Western coast as commando troops and infantry men attached to the 58 Division took control of the area, ground sources told.

Troops managed to recovered LTTE arms, ammunition and vehicles in the operation. A large bunker-line erected from the coast inland had also been abandoned. Search operations continued into Wednesday night to secure the village and the environs of trappings and mines.

The majority of the Tigers defending a well fortified south Veduthalthivu started withdrawing in batches early this week as the ground became untenable. Many had escaped via boats along the shallow coastal waters as parts of the A-32 road was already taken further north of the Sea Tiger base by troops from the 57 Division. Commandos managed to box in and kill around two dozen of the retreating Tigers in a ambush along the A-32.

The Tiger cadres operating in the area started to flee from Vidathalthivu asit was surrounded by the Security Forces from South and East directions with 58 Division troops moving from the South while the troops attached to 582 Brigade led by the commando troops advanced from the East towards Vidathlathivu destroying the Tiger defence line stretching for more than 10 kilometres from 2.5 kilometres south of Vidathalthivu towards Paramayankulam tank in the West of Periyamadu.

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At least 82 Tamil Tigers were killed by security forces, including 51 who died in the raid on the key LTTE base, as fighter jets pounded another area in the embattled region targeting a rebel gathering, officials said on Thursday.

The LTTE toll in yesterday's attack on Vidattaltivu reached 51, according to the military. While one soldier was killed in the incident, 15 others were injured, the Defence Ministry said.

Meanwhile, Air Force spokesman Janaka Nanayakkara said MI-24 helicopter gunships "raided an LTTE gathering in general area Iluppaikkadavai, 5 kms north of Vidattaltivu, this noon." It was not clear whether there was any casualty in the attack.

Separately, troops killed an LTTE at Kilaly in Jaffna yesterday, the military said.

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At least three Tigers were gunned down in northeastern Ampaddankulam in Vavuniya yesterday, officials said, adding one security personnel also lost his life in the incident.

In the general area of Navvi in Vavuniya, troops shot dead at least four LTTE yesterday.

With the fall of Vidathalthivu, the LTTE's sea Tiger wing has lost its biggest supply base in the western coast, defense analysts noted.

The Commander of the Army Sarath Fonseka has said the loss was a huge blow to the rebels in their sea operations.

Having taking control of the whole Eastern Province from the rebels in 2007, Sri Lanka's security forces are currently battling the LTTE in the north with the aim of crushing them within one year.


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