Sri Lanka: Rebels Being Taken Apart

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March 24, 2007: The LTTE continues to use suicide bombers. Today, one detonated at an army roadblock, killing himself and a soldier. Not much has been heard from the senior LTTE leadership. With a third of their strength (the forces in the east) destroyed, or about to be, a weakened LTTE in the north has to face a victorious and confident Sri Lankan armed forces. The navy has cut LTTE supply lines, the air force is increasingly capable of finding, and destroying LTTE bases, and the army is no longer out maneuvered and out fought by the LTTE infantry. The government would like to negotiate a peace, based an autonomy for Tamils. But the LTTE appears to be holding to its policy of separatism (partition of the island) or nothing.

March 22, 2007: The remaining LTTE fighters in the east are not surrendering, although some are known to have simply deserted their units. Several hundred armed LTTE remain in the east, and they are apparently going to fight to the death. Fighting in the east and north are causing several hundred casualties a day. In the east, about 15,000 civilians a day are fleeing their homes, to avoid the fighting between troops and the remaining LTTE gunmen.

March 21, 2007: Tamil civilians continue to flee their villages in the east. Nearly 100,000 have done so in the last week. The remaining LTTE gunmen are angry at Tamil civilians, who are not as enthusiastic about supporting the rebels as they once were.

March 20, 2007: Air force bombers found and attacked an LTTE naval base in the north, destroying ships used for moving arms, and some stockpiles of weapons and munitions that had not been moved inland yet. At sea, the navy destroyed four more LTTE supply boats.

March 19, 2007: Fighting over the weekend caused 20-30 casualties a day. There is still a lot of mortar and artillery fire. but less so from the LTTE. The navy continues to catch LTTE ships bringing in ammunition, and this is beginning to show up in the form of less artillery and mortar fire from the LTTE. The army is still fighting small groups of LTTE gunmen in the east.

March 16, 2007: The fighting has shifted to the north, where the LTTE is still strong. Army patrols are probing LTTE defenses, causing a number of small battles.

 

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