More than 100 LTTE cadres were killed in fierce clashes with Sri Lankan security forces in the islands restive North as Premier Ratnasiri Wickremanayake declared that the war would be over by the beginning of next year.
Mullaittivu battle reached its last phase as LTTE cadres made several desperate attempts in vain to infiltrate the military forward defences,which left over 100 rebels dead and as many injured since Friday dawn,the defence ministry said.
LTTE fighters were preparing for a large scale offensive towards the existing military defences at Palamathalan and North of Puthkkudiyirippu,inducting over 200 cadres including suicide bombers and Sea Tigers,it said.
Following the initial thrust,terrorists had planned to send waves of 100 odd cadres to provide reinforcements. Bahnu,Lowrence,Soosai and few other high profile LTTE rebels were directly involved in masterminding the pre-emptive assault,sources said.
Meanwhile,Wickremanayake said that the offensive would end by the new year (2010). However,I do not think it will take that long. Our forces are on fire. They want to finish it off as soon as possible. This is a war in which both sides are fighting. We cannot set any time as we are also being attacked, the PM told an election rally on Saturday.
According to military,this is the first time during the recent battles LTTE has inducted many of its high profiles to the battlefront. Yet,timely detection and precise Intelligence information received proved decisive as the rebel offensive waves were received with intense military counter attacks at the crack of dawn on Friday, the ministry said.
Over 30 Tiger rebels were killed during the initial thrust while the rest were hunted down by the Commando Regiment troops during the past 48 hours,it said. The LTTE had taken the liberty of the military tolerance of not engaging rebels positions within the declared No Fire Zone, it added
The land stretch of about 4 km south of Pudumathalan,has been continuously used as a launching pad for LTTE attacks. The Tigers,despite the high density of civilian population,have located its heavy mortars and artillery batteries to mount attacks towards advancing military troops,the ministry quoted the ground sources as saying.