Weeks of fighting around the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi has led to several thousand
casualties. Troops are attacking LTTE bunkers five kilometers outside the town.
As expected, the LTTE have some of their best remaining fighters operating
here. But the LTTE is fighting under many disadvantages. The air force controls
the air, and the pilots are now experienced at hitting ground targets. The army
has far more artillery than the LTTE, and much more ammunition.
the 59th division keeps moving up the east coast, giving the LTTE less and less
coastline for their smuggling boats. More portions of the A-9 highway (which
runs up the center of the island) is being captured by troops. The LTTE is
being pressed on over a dozen fronts. While clearly on its last legs, the LTTE
appears determined to go down fighting. Given how thinly stretched the LTTE
forces are, a complete collapse could come at any time. The army is still wary
of a last-ditch counter-offensive, even though several deadly LTTE local counter-attacks
have been repulsed recently. Having been beaten up by the LTTE several times
over the last two decades, the generals remain cautious. The army knows it will
win, and wants to do so with as few casualties as possible.
fleeing LTTE held territory report increasing efforts to conscript and train
fighters. Many of those drafted end up spending all their time digging and
building fortifications. Air force bombers and army artillery make these
trenches and bunkers essential. Moreover, as the army advances, and captures an
LTTE line of bunkers, the surviving rebel fighters fall back to another line.
The LTTE bunker builders are often bombed or shelled. The LTTE will often try
to claim that these unarmed fighters were actually innocent civilians
slaughtered by racist government forces. LTTE efforts to carry out terror
attacks against civilian targets have been frustrated by the police and army
roadblocks. The LTTE does not have as much access to the test of the island as
they used to.
2008: The army captured a village eight kilometers from the rebel headquarters town