Earth bunds constructed by the Tigers to guard Puthukudirippu have fallen thanks to the newly formed TF-8, 58 Division and the 53 Division. The first bund erected across Perawil in Puthukudirippu West was completely overrun by yesterday, the second bund erected to the south of Puthukudirippu was also breached. TF-8, backed by the 53 Division, are now inside the trench and pitched battles have erupted there.
LTTE has deployed two Battle Tanks, one clearly identified by soldiers as a T-55 to counter the armoured onslaught from the SLA. Army fears the Tigers might use the tanks for a suicide mission towards the end. The forward advance is again hampered by the trapped civilians. The flow of civilians into government controlled areas had now ground to a complete halt.
Following the breach of the two earth bunds, the SLA is now in the Puthukudirippu built-up area west and south of Puthukudirippu Town Center. Puthukudirippu jungles are now behind them. Special teams trained at Maduru Oya in FIBUA or Fighting In Built-Up Areas have been deployed to capture Puthukudiirippu Town.
The LTTE, who once claimed very proudly that it doesn't fight for 'real estate', is now fighting for every inch of that same 'real estate'. Once famous LTTE leaders like Theepan, Sornam, Bhanu et al. have been relegated to defending the remaining real estate one square kilometer at a time.
The 57, which performed a herculean task in the fighting upto Kilinochchi and Task Forces 3 and 4 in Oddusudan etc. have received a well deserved break and are now placed in the reserve. Many of the high performing officers and men of these Divisions have been approved leave and a well earned rest.
Another Unit that's enjoyed relative peace during the Vanni Operation has been the Special Forces whose powerful attack teams were called in only on a handful of occasions as the other Divisions took the fight effectively to the enemy. The 59 Division, which was somewhat unsuccessful in the last battle has been placed on a defensive role to guard particularly the entry-exist routes to and from Mulaitivu by the Commander.