The 57 Division engaged in fierce gun battles with the LTTE yesterday at Iranamadu and Akkarayan, the southern edge of Kilinochchi town. Akkarayan junction was secured by troops on the same day after overrunning the LTTE’s earth bund south of this small town. This junction and the surrounding areas were seen only by LRRP teams until yesterday.
Meanwhile LTTE has again changed it ‘Kilinochchi Command’ as small groups of Tigers have started abandoning the organization. In a hitherto unprecedented move, Prabhakaran appointed Charles Anthony Special Commander Lt. Col Velavan the ‘GoC’ for Kilinochchi. ‘Colonels’ Lawrence and Lakshman, who were in charge of saving Kilinochchi, are now functioning UNDER Velavan.
With 13kms left to go for the 57 to capture Paranthan and only 7km left for the 58 Division to reach Pooneryn, the LTTE’s collapse seems almost certain. Field Commanders told DefenceWire that LTTE could start withdrawing from Muhamalai, Nagarkovil and Kilali as soon as it loses Kilinochchi.
Meanwhile the 58 Division engaged in a series of successful attacks last week in Pooneryn. 2 and 3 Commando units ambushed the LTTE’s withdrawal from Nachchikuda along the A-32, at the northwestern edge of Pooneryn. Tractors, cabs and motorcycles were targeted in a series of Claymore attacks. An armour plated Tractor Engine was also attacked. Casualties to the LTTE was not available.
However, LTTE’s pressure tactics in Tamil Nadu seems to have had some impact with the Lok Sabha elections set for April-May 2009. The Indian Central Government has requested the Sri Lanka government to conclude its major operations in the North by the end of December 2008.