9:59 AM

Army turns heat on LTTE as TN increases pressure on Delhi

Amid a diplomatic furore caused by Tamil Nadu’s call to suspend Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE, the army has stepped up its efforts to regain the Nachchikuda-Pooneryn road stretch along the 82 km. Mannar-Pooneryn coastal road (A32) with recent fighting seeing a hole punched in the Tigers’ last ditch earth bund.

This would be a critical element in the overall strategy to deny the LTTE capability to bring in urgently needed supplies from Tamil Nadu across the Gulf of Mannar, a senior military official told News-lanka.

Contrary to expectations, the TamilNadu factor has spurred stepped up military operations with the SLAF targeting LTTE units engaged in building fresh fortifications, a senior military source said.

A desperate LTTE attempt to retain a foothold on the north-western coast was on the verge of collapse with the Task Force I cutting off the Nachchikuda-Pooneryn stretch at a point eight kilometres north of Nachchikuda on Friday, he said.

The move was made immediately the Task Force commanded by Brigadier Shavindra Silva captured Maniyankulam intersection about 13.5 kilometres northeast of Nachchikuda.

The official said that the army was positioned south, east and north of Nachchikuda while the enemy wouldn’t be able to undertake a large scale sea movement in view of the navy’s superiority on the seas off north-western coast.

Earlier heavy LTTE resistance forced the army to bypass Nachchikuda and take up position east and north-east of the enemy stronghold before cutting across towards the coastal road.

The army said that once the eight kilometre stretch northwards of Nachchikuda was cleared, the LTTE would be left with about a 17 kilometre road stretch.

Task Force 1 launched operations in September last year. Although its initial progress had been extremely slow, it experienced significant battlefield success with troops liberating Viddataltivu, Kalliyadi, Iluppaikkadavai, Mundampiddi and Vellankulam towns.

Army headquarters said that the Task Force I and the 57 Division deployed on its right flank had pierced the LTTE’s main obstacle - an earth bund running for 28 km. from Nachchikuda to Akkarayankulam tank.


Anonymous said...

India responsible for this problem in the first place, still no effort to make it right.
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