7:22 AM

Army captured Vellankulam – last bastion of Tigers in Mannar district

Sri Lanka Army captured yesterday afternoon, Vellankulam, the last Tiger bastion in the Mannar district.Map of Mannar
By capturing Vellankulam, Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division has liberated the entire Mannar district within eight months period. Army’s 58 Division commenced their operation to Liberate Mannar district in November 2007. Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division is commanded by Brigadier Shavindra Silva.
To liberate Mannar, 58 Division mobilized 12 Infantry Battalions, and Commando Brigade, supported by the 5th Armoured Corp regiment, 15 Artillery Regiment, 9 Signal and Engineers.
In this operation, Sri Lanka Air Force deployed their MI 24 fighter helicopters to attacked LTTE bunkers and to bring reinforcement to Army personnel, meanwhile ground troops had given perfect locations of LTTE military installation which enabled the Air Force fighter jets to bomb the exact targets and destroy.
A battle front officer told News-Lanka that the LTTE’s Jaffna commander Thleepan was commanding the Mannar battle front and he was given instruction over the radio to hold on to the position and not allow Army to enter Vellankulam, but Sri Lanka army faced easily the resistance forthcoming from LTTE and chase them away.
Infantry troops with the backing of artillery, captured the Vellankulam, the last coastal town in the Mannar district, located in the Northwest coast, along the A- 32 Road. Reports revealed that some soldiers have seen fleeing LTTE carders carrying bodies of their dead carders and that of those wounded.
After the capture of Velankulam, Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division was seen marching towards Kilinonochi, while, 571, 572 and 573 Brigades attached to the 57th Division and elite Special Forces are tactically moving towards Thunukkai, Mallavi and Mankulam - which is located just 24 km from Kilinonochi Town.
In the meantime, the 572 Brigade which captured Vannivilankulam, south of Mallavi is now said to be moving towards Mankulam, and further north.
The Tigers are desperately trying to hold on to Mankulam, summoning additional cadres from the north to Mankulam to strengthen their defence.
One officer who commands the battle front said 'Army don't have forward defence line, but the Army do have forward offensive line'