Therefore LTTE leadership have asked the battle formations of EPS to adjust their forward boundaries further north.The last remaining cadres to leave EPS were from the LTTE's elite IP and CA commando teams. They had stayed behind as it was an ideal opportunity for maximum harvest of SLA platoons. The cadres used covert land routes and sea tiger troop transport to vacate EPS. The SLA suffered heavy casualties during the offensive, numbering over 300 KIA, this was possible as EPS area is open terrain. The LTTE launched numerous artillery and mortar salvos on the advancing SLA units and caused maximum damage. The LTTE did not suffer any casualties itself, the cadres are safely back in LTTE controlled areas.
Elephant Pass is synonymous with national embarrassment for the SLA. In the bloody history of Elephant Pass battles, the SLA had suffered two of the worst debacles in its short history. In the first battle of EP in 1991, the SLA suffered over 1,000 casualties. The SLA managed to defend EP amid very heavy casualties, the LTTE casualties were very low. In the second battle of EP in 2000, the SLA suffered its worst ever defeat. Over 3,000 SLA were killed when the LTTE commanded by Colonel Bhanu and comprising mainly eastern cadres overran the Elephant Pass complex and completely liberated the area. In the latest battle, LTTE inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy before strategically withdrawing with its weapons and cadres intact.
The LTTE's overall strategy is now very clear. They have decided to forego occupation of symbolic towns and villages to regroup in the Mullaitivu jungles and launch guerilla raids on the SLA. Yesterday, the SLA suffered over 53KIA 2 miles east of Paranthan when LTTE commandos launched a surprise ambush on the advancing SLA units. A few bodies were captured and these will be handed over to the SLA via the ICRC shortly. A large haul of weapons were also captured during the clearing operations.
Check back for further updates.