Sri Lanka: Rebels Without An Edge


September 5, 2006: What was long suspected, that the LTTE had lost their military edge, appears to be true. Unlike in the past, LTTE troops no longer appear able to defeat the army at will. Years of fighting, without much to show for it, has caused a morale problem within the Tamil community. Increased use of terror by the LTTE has demoralized many Tamils, and there is an active rebellion within the LTTE, which does little for morale and unity. Worse yet, the government forces are better equipped, trained and led.
September 4, 2006: Soldiers captured the key town Sampur, in the north. The LTTE retreated after taking heavy losses (over a hundred dead, and even more wounded.) There is still fighting going on around the town. Sampur is on the southern end of the Trincomalee harbor. From there, the LTTE could fire on ships using the harbor. With Sampur in government hands, it will be easier to get ships in and out of Trincomalee.
A major Tamil charity had its assets (about $750,000) frozen after it was implicated in an illegal arms deal in the United States. The LTTE has threatened retaliation against bank officials.
September 3, 2006: The army has been attacking LTTE positions in Sampur, a key town south of the key northern port of Trincomalee, for a week now. So far, the army has suffered 14 dead and 92 wounded. It is believed that the LTTE have lost over a hundred dead.
September 2, 2006: The current round of fighting has, so far, caused about 10,000 Tamils to flee to India.
September 1, 2006: A naval battle south of the key northern port of Trincomalee left twelve LTTE boats destroyed and some 80 LTTE rebels dead. Several sailors were wounded and two navy gunboats were damaged. The LTTE were apparently trying to cripple navy forces in the area.


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