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Army takes Kokavil, eyes strategic town
10 km south of M’tivu

The ground offensive directed at the remaining LTTE fortifications along the A9 road and the eastern flank of the Vanni theatre of operations has reached a decisive stage with the army regaining Kokavil, about 15 kilometers north of Mankulam, while stepping up pressure on the Sea Tiger bastion Alampil, about ten kilometres south of Mullaitivu.

The 57 Division moved into Kokavil as depleted LTTE units abandoned the town following a sustained attack, a senior army official told The Island, adding that this would increase pressure on terrorists now struggling to hold their positions along the Kilinochchi-Paranthan stretch along the A9. 

The official said that the 57 Division had cut off the A9 road at a point several kilometres north of Kokavil on Sunday and then pushed southwards towards the town which the army lost to the LTTE  in July 1990 during the early stages of the Eelam War II.

The 59 Division on the Weli Oya front is now advancing Sea Tiger stronghold Alampil, one of the strongest Sea Tiger bases on the eastern coast. The LTTE had deployed large groups of Sea Tigers to resist the army advance. The fall of Alampil would facilitate the assault on Mullaitivu, the Navy said.

The 59 Division is in the process of destroying LTTE strong points along the northern bank of the Nayaru lagoon and dominating the Kumalamunai- Alampil road. It has already secured positions on the southern bank of the lagoon, the army said.

Defence Secertary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa last week told The Island that once the army regained the A 9, troops would mount a multi pronged advance on Mullaitivu. He asserted that the remaining LTTE units on the eastern flank would be caught simultaneously on several fronts. "We are on track," he said, pointing out that the large groups of civilians reaching army lines was evidence that the LTTE was gradually losing its control over the population. 

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