|Sri Lankan troops launched the final assault
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|Author:||Saman [ Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:25 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Sri Lankan troops launched the final assault|
Sri Lankan troops launched the final assault
Over 100,000 civilians change sides
Top LTTE leaders 'Daya Master', George surrender
Around 2 a.m. on 20th, the 11th SL Light infantry, 9th Gemunu Watch, 9th Gajaba along with battalions from Special Forces one and Two Commando regiments stormed and broke through the 2-3 km long Bund c um Trench constructed in the Puthumaathalan-Ambalavanpokkanai area. The Bund was 8 ft in height while the trench was 10 ft in depth. The 11th SLLI, 9GW, GR, SF 1 and 2CR are commanded by Colonels , Kithsiri Ekanayake, Lal Chandrasiri,Chandana Wickremasinghe, Athula Kodippili and Ralph Nugera respectively.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Minutes after the expiry of the 24-hour deadline to the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran to surrender, Sri Lankan forces seized Puthumathalan hospital and broke into the eastern coast of the no-fire zone, where the LTTE's top brass is believed to be hiding. According to reports, the Sri Lankan forces have virtually halved the small 7.7-square-mile (20-square-kilometer) strip of land being held by the Tigers. By Wednesday morning, troops captured about a third of the remaining LTTE-held area, which is an army-declared no-fire zone until soldiers marched in and and killed 35 rebels.
On Monday (20) troops captured eight kilometres, with only nine kilometres remaining to be regained. Battlefront sources said that the LTTE had dug trenches and built earth bunds to obstruct the Army advance. The Special Forces and Commandos had infiltrated LTTE held areas in small teams and mounted attacks.
The Security Forces were able to rescue more than 62,000 within the last 48 hours ending midnight yesterday and more than 10,000 other civilians are awaiting to reach the Security Forces controlled areas. This brings the total number of civilians who fled the LTTE grip to over 122,000. “More than 58,000 civilians have arrived in military controlled areas by land and another 4,000 by sea”, Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka told. A huge influx of civilians were reported from the 58 Division area as more than one km long queue to enter Security Forces held areas was witnessed even by yesterday evening.
The 58 Division which started humanitarian operation from Mannar in the Western coast made a record yesterday reaching the Eastern coast of the No Fire Zone after a 175 km march from Mannar to Puthumattalan. The 58 Division managed to expand their defences towards the eastern beach front after capturing the Puthumattalan hospital, Ampalavanpokkanai hospital complex by yesterday evening. “The 58 Division troops backed by Commando and Special Forces troops further expanded their defences towards the North with the objective of the linking up with the 55 Division which is also heading towards the No Fire Zone from the Northern direction”, 58 Division GOC brigadier Shavendra Silva told.
Troops including Special Forces and Commandos had moved into the last LTTE–held area to hunt down the remaining LTTE units. "They are scattered in the area," a senior military official said adding that continuous aerial surveillance would thwart their attempts to mount large scale coordinated attacks on the army.
IN the mean time, in a major setback to the Tamil Tigers, two top LTTE leaders are reported to have surrendered to the Sri Lankan forces after all escape routes seem to have been plugged for the terrorists, on Wednesday afternoon (April 22). 'Daya Master', who reportedly belongs to Prabhakaran's inner circle and George, gave themselves up to the 58 division soldiers, who are carrying out operations in Puthumathala.
Troops, however, said that despite being in the last stretches, the Tamil Tigers were offering stiff resistance. To stop the entry of troops in their bastion on the northeastern coast of the island, LTTE cadres made a number of counter attacks in Puthumathalan and Putuhukkudduyirupp East areas.
The ground attacks were repulsed by the infantry soldiers of 58th division, claimed the army and said that at least 22 bodies of terrorists were recovered from the area. Latest reports said that 53 division troops fended day long attacks in Puthukkudduyiruppu, in which at least 14 Tigers are reported to have been killed. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan army has claimed that it has rescued at least 95000 civilians from the No Fire Zone in last two days.
Thousands of Entrapped Tamil civilians fled from areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the aftermath of the military operation by the Army that was successful in breaching tiger defences in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division in Northern Mullaitheevu district.
Around 2 a.m. on 20th, the 11th SL Light infantry, 9th Gemunu Watch, 9th Gajaba along with battalions from Special Forces one and Two Commando regiments stormed and broke through the 2-3 km long Bund c-um Trench constructed in the Puthumaathalan-Ambalavanpokkanai area. The Bund was 8 ft in height while the trench was 10 ft in depth. The 11th SLLI, 9GW, GR, SF 1 and 2CR are commanded by Colonels , Kithsiri Ekanayake, Lal Chandrasiri,Chandana Wickremasinghe, Athula Kodippili and Ralph Nugera respectively. After some tiger resistance in which around 12 soldiers were killed and scores wounded the Army succeeded in breaching the LTTE defences in the Pokkanai area.
LRRP men already infiltrated the Government declared NFZ days ahead and were collecting information and preparing the ground for opertion. LRRP members located and relayed back the exact locations of the LTTE strong-points, bunker lines etc. to the intelligence units.
The eight-man teams of the Special Forces proceeded North towards the earth bund and its main body moved in from the South. They sneaked over the bund, beyond which was a ditch. They crossed this as well. During the early hours of April 20, around 2:00 a.m., troops of the 58-1 Brigade and the SLII mounted a surprise attack on the LTTE’s vital positions and along its bunker lines. A simultaneous attack was launched by the other group of Special Forces and Commandos, who had infiltrated and moved to the rear of the LTTE positions. Another team of Special Forces and Commandos quickly set up ambushes to counter any LTTE reinforcements. As expected, a van and a tractor carrying reinforcements arrived. Special Forces and Commandos knocked them off on arrival. Thereafter, troops breached the last Tiger built earth bund hindering the advance of the SF.
Once the breakthrough was effected the soldiers moved into tiger territory and began spreading out.They also moved right down to the coast , established a beachhead and bisected the tiger controlled littoral in two. Thereafter announcements were made asking the people to move out so that they could be rescued and evacuated. What began as a trickle soon turned into a flood. Thousands of civilians long held in bondage by the LTTE began rushing to breathe the air of freedom. The LTTE got alarmed and tried to block the people. According to security sources the tigers fired upon the people trying to escape. Still the people kept on moving. When columns of civilians were walking on a causeway tigers began firing intensely. The people then got down into the water and started wading. At this juncture three woman suicide bombers ran towards them and exploded themselves. Many civilians were killed and injured. There was terrified pandemonium but soon the people rallied and began running towards the 58 division soldiers . Some did so in neck deep water.
On April 20 morning east of Puthumathalan, an eight-man team of Commandos observed two double cabs approaching the SF’s defence line. The Commandos attacked the two cabs and killed the six Tiger cadres inside, which included its area leader Kavida.
Meanwhile the 55 division stationed at Challai also moved some distance to the South near Pattiaddy. Thousands of people from Palammaathalan began moving in large numbers through swampy land to reach the 55 division soldiers. There were only a few LTTE sentries here and they could not prevent the large crowd exceeding 5000 from going towards the Army.
The 53 Division was expected to move into the civilian safe zone on the right flank of the 58 Division and cut across to the beach thereby dividing the remaining LTTE-held area into two, the sources said.
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