LTTE Headquarters had Designer Bunkers

LTTE Headquarters had Designer Bunkers

Did LTTE's fighting tactics match those of Nazi's during World War II?

A spate of deep bunkers erected by the Tigers around their fallen citadel of Kilinochchi might suggest that.

Sri Lankan troops engaged in clearing out the town of booby traps, mines and explosives have come across a string of heavily-fortified bunkers outside all major governing buildings in the city.

But, unlike, the World War II era, the Tiger bunkers instead of mud and cement were hidden behind manicured hedges and so heavily-fortified that they could withstand artillery shells and pounding of heavy air dropped bombs.

These teak wood bunkers, with modern electric trappings and at times even air-conditioning, dotted all round the LTTE's former administrative city.

It is with the intention of protecting the top LTTE brass that these military bunkers buried partly or fully underground have been given a posh look, a defence official said.

He said the LTTE's top brass probably conducted their meetings with foreign and other important dignitaries in such bunkers.

Bunkers were extensively used during the World War I and II and subsequently by the militia groups fighting the government in many parts of the world with Adolf Hitler wary of his safety having a penchant for living underground in such shelters.

These multi-storeyed structures were supposed to deal with legal and infrastructural requirements of more than 3 lakh Tamils in Kilinochchi as well as other adjoining areas controlled by the LTTE which was perhaps confident of self-rule with armed guerillas.

The material from the buildings had been liberally used to construct bunkers in and around Kilinochchi which left the inhabitants of the city high and dry due to removal of ceiling structures.

The cast iron from lamp posts, the asbestos and metal rods from roof of the building were hurriedly utilised to make the hideouts, officials pointed out, adding that the LTTE was preparing for a prolonged battle.

Another rare feat achieved by the LTTE workers was to put in place a 30-km long bund with a height of over 7-8 feet virtually encircling the Kilinochchi city.

The elevated structure was to enable the tiger fighters get a vantage point to fire at the Sri Lankan troops and also observe their troop movement from far away.

This was preceded by a 7-8 feet trench filled up with water that would make it difficult for the advancing Lankan security forces to breach.

"Our brave Sri Lanka soldiers took on this mighty challenge to cross the trench with ladders albeit with great risk to their lives as the LTTE fighters could gauge the movement of the forces," an official told PTI here.

The very strength of the army prompted the Tiger rebels go on the defensive with the LTTE command perhaps preferring to order retreat rather than part with the precious lives of the limited Tiger force, the official said.

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