Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Mannar Parappakandal area was captured on the 18th by troops from the 57 Division moving westwards from Vavuniya. The LTTE's early morning mission, which lasted over 4 hours was to regain control of the area. Troops also engaged LTTE tractors which were brought in to rescue injured cadres.
The Tigers, led by 'Col' Swarnam and at least one 122mm artillery gun and 80mm mortar, split into 9 teams and attempted to storm 57 Division units scattered across the Parappakandal SLA front, but were heavily beaten back.
They could not find a clearly demarcated SLA defence-line, which they had so masterfully stormed in Oyatha Alaikal(Ceaseless Waves) I,II,III and IV prior to 2002 . 3 out of the 9 Tiger teams were reported missing. SLA believes the survivors of these three teams were either severely wounded or lost inside the jungles, unable to regroup.
This was the second defeat suffered by Swarnam in recent times since the fall of Mutur, during which operation he suffered serious injuries and was bed-ridden for a while. Swarnam is still rated higher than Bhanu, who became a 'Colonel' after one significant attack before 2002.
In addition to Swarnam, the Tigers have deployed Bhanu and Jeyam in Mannar but this was the first occasion that a senior tiger leader had personally supervised a coordinated attack against troops in the Mannar front in almost 6 months.
Posted by Defencewire at 11:21 PM
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