After holding the LTTE’s 1st FDL for the last 3 days the SLA today officially declared it had taken control of the 1st Muhamalai and Kilali LTTE FDL. The SLA increased skirmished into the LTTE FDL for the last three to five days gaging and gradually working away at the LTTE’s resistance until finally holding onto the newly captured 800m to 1km area by today morning.
Casualties to both sides are high with the SLA suffering around 300 casualties, including those killed and the walking wounded. Casualties to the LTTE could be less. The narrow corridor of terrain makes it difficult for either side to advance, but the objective of this latest venture into LTTE areas seems to be to force the Tigers concentrated defenses away from the 58 Division, which is now 6km west of Paranthan.
Tiger airstrip captured as Troops overrun Muhamalai FDL
Troops of Task Force 1 (TF1) advancing towards Paranthan have captured a smaller airstrip used by the LTTE. The airstrip was around 10m wide and 200m long. As of today, TF1 units are currently around 8km away from the LTTE held town of Paranthan. Another small airstrip located south of Mankulam was captured by the 57 division back in early October.
Meanwhile troops of the 53 and 55 division broke through LTTE defences and overran their first defence line in national front. With this move the army have now advanced roughly 1KM into previously LTTE held territory. Whether the offensives will immediately continue further south or whether the troops will remain in their current positions is still unknown. These gains however did not come without casualties. Nearly 50 soldiers have been killed and around 275 have been injured during fighting in national front (Muhamalai, Nagarkovil and Kilali axis) in the past few days alone. The army had previously attempted no less than 4 times to overrun this bunker line, until they finally succeeded today. Exact LTTE casualty details are not available as of this moment.