SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
As the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suffered mounting reverses on the war front in the North, the rebels were inevitably driven to escalate their terrorist attacks on civilians in other parts of the country in an effort to create some pressure on Colombo, and advertise their failing cause to the world. As many as 292 civilians have so far been killed in the Island nation since January 1, 2008, most of them outside the theatre of war in the North in about 26 explosions of varied natures.
The Tiger signature was visible in strength on June 6, 2008, when at least 23 persons were killed and about 80 others injured as two passenger buses in Colombo and Kandy were bombed. In the first incident at 7:30 am (SLST), a remote controlled claymore blast targeted a bus plying on the Kottawa – Mount Lavinia route near the University at Katubedde in the Moratuwa town, south of Colombo, which killed 21 people and injured 60 others. Police also recovered and diffused another claymore-type mine near the scene of the blast. Second explosion inside a bus, plying from Wattegama to Kandy, opposite the teachers’ training centre at Pollgolla in Kandy, at around 3:50 pm, killed at least two people and injured 20 others.
The twin blasts are part of a series of terrorist activities unleashed by the LTTE outside the North and East since January 1. On January 1 itself, the day before the Government decided to withdraw from the Cease-fire Agreement with the LTTE, an United National Party Member of Parliament, T. Maheshwaran, was shot at and injured by suspected ‘pistol gang’ cadres of the LTTE while he was offering prayers inside Sivam Kovil (Temple of Lord Shiva) at Kotahena in the capital Colombo. The Parliamentarian, however, succumbed to his injuries. One of the nine more civilians wounded in the incident also died of his injuries. The major terrorist attacks within the current series this year, include:
May 29: Three persons, including a woman, were killed by LTTE militants at the Zone 18 village in Anuradhapura District.
May 26: At least eight passengers, including four women, were killed and 70 others injured when an LTTE parcel bomb with a timer exploded in a crowded train near Dehiwala, at around 4:50 pm.
May 16: 13 persons, including nine Police personnel, were killed and 95 others injured, when an LTTE suicide bomber on an explosives-laden motorcycle rammed into a bus carrying Police officers at about 12.05 pm at the Colombo Fort.
April 6: The Highway Minister and Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 13 others were killed in a suicide attack carried out by the LTTE at a sporting event in the Weliweriya area, about 25-km north of capital Colombo, of Gampaha district.
February 3: At least 12 persons were killed and around 100 injured, 10 of them critically, when an LTTE female suicide bomber blew herself up inside the Colombo Fort Railway Station.
February 2: At least 20 passengers aboard a bus were killed and 50 others injured when LTTE cadres detonated an explosive device at the Dambulla bus stand in the Matale District. The bus was to ply on the Kandy – Anuradhapura Road.
January 24: Police recovered the dead bodies of 16 youth hacked to death by suspected LTTE militants from a swamp at Kiriketuwewa on the Horoupathana-Kebithigollawa Road in Anuradhapura District. The victims were believed to be a group of civilians who had gone searching for their cattle.
January 17: At least 10 civilians, including two home guards, were shot dead by LTTE militants at Hambegamuwa in the Thanamalwila area of Moneragala District.
January 16: At least 26 civilians, including some school children and women, aboard a Central Transport Bus proceeding to Buttala town of Moneragala District, were killed and 67 others injured in a claymore mine explosion triggered by the LTTE in the Helagama area near Ella Road. The bus was simultaneously fired upon by the militants immediately after the claymore mine explosion.
January 8: Suspected militants of the LTTE killed Sri Lankan non-Cabinet Minister for Nation Building, D.M. Dissanayake, in a claymore mine blast near the Rukmani Devi Junction at Ja-ela, while he was proceeding towards Colombo. A personal bodyguard of the Minister, identified as K.P. Rathnayaka, also succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. According to the Police, 13 people, including seven civilians, were injured in the incident.
January 2: Four persons were killed and over 20 injured in a powerful bomb blast in Colombo. The Defence Ministry said the blast, which occurred at about 9:30 am opposite the Nippon Hotel, targeted an Army bus carrying soldiers.
Apart from these major incidents, as many as 72 incidence of violence targeting civilians, significant seizures and arrests, were reported – a clear sign of spreading LTTE terrorism in the country.
The military pressure on the LTTE in the North has been building up relentlessly and, prior to the attacks on the buses on June 6, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in an operation on June 4, had killed 30 LTTE militants and captured a one-kilometre stretch of the LTTE’s Main Defence Line (MDL) covering the Mannar 'Rice Bowl', by reaching the edge of the area, north of Adampan. This was the first time that the troops in the Mannar front had captured a stretch of the LTTE’s MDL, which stretches from Pappamoddai in the north of Manthai on the seaside towards Parappakandattan in the north of Giant Tank, for more than 11 Kilometres. The LTTE had constructed this defence line with a six to eight foot high earth bund (embankment), a water canal and a trench line, forcibly using the civilians living in the un-cleared areas (areas not under Government control) a few months ago, to block the advancing SLA Forces. Earlier, on May 29, 14 LTTE militants were killed and another 42 injured, when the SFs captured one of the outfit’s major strategic bases, "Munnagam" in the Janakapura area of Vavuniya District.
On June 8, the SFs also stormed the LTTE’s 1-4 Base Complex at five places and captured a 500 to 600 metre stretch of land in the Ethawatunuwewa area of Vavuniya District, killing at least 17 LTTE militants while injuring another 35. Six soldiers were also killed and 18 soldiers also sustained injuries during the fighting which lasted for eight hours. Further, on June 9, at least nine LTTE militants were killed as the troops stormed the outfit’s FDL in the Alankulam area, about two kilometres north to the north bund of the Giant Tank, of Mannar District. Two soldiers were also killed while 15 others sustained injuries during the clash, which lasted for nearly four hours.
That the Tigers are facing severe losses on the war front in the North – cadres as well as the areas under their control – has been reaffirmed by the Army Commander Sarath Fonseka on June 11, 2008, who indicated that the SFs were attacking Mullaitivu, the hideout of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the chief of the LTTE, from several directions, with the aim of capturing Prabhakaran, who, it was claimed, was holed up in a bunker and alive. Fonseka disclosed that the 56th, 57th, 58th and 59th Divisions were taking part in the operations and ‘Task Force 2’ – a new Army Division raised to create another battlefront towards Wanni – would also be inducted to expedite the operation. At the time of writing, troops were attacking the LTTE's 1-4 Base complex in a preliminary bid to reach Mullaitivu. Fonseka added that Forces had already regained several hundred square kilometres previously under the control of the LTTE, but they still need to advance another 21 kilometres to achieve the ‘final goal’.
The attrition the LTTE has suffered in these military operations has been devastating. According to data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, the LTTE has lost 4,318 cadres since January 1, 2008 (till June 15), significantly greater than the 3,345 cadres it lost over the whole of 2007 and 2,319 fatalities in 2006. Meanwhile, the LTTE, in the latest release by its "Hero’s Department" has claimed that the outfit has lost 21,051 carders in its quest for a separate state for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The period cited for the deaths covers 26 years, from November 27, 1982 to May 31, 2008. The LTTE conceded the loss of 918 cadres in the five months of 2008 – 616 males and 302 females – according to the Hero’s release, which added that, since the current pace of the war intensified, the LTTE had lost 1,004 cadres – 745 males and 259 females – in 2006; and 1196 cadres, including 1037 males and 159 females, in 2007.
Formal postures on the now-defunct "peace process" have been reiterated by both sides, as the war hots up. The LTTE has reiterated its demand that Colombo allows Norwegian peace-brokers to visit them at Kilinochchi if any talks are to begin. Ruling out the possibility of having peace talks with the Government without the participation of Norwegian facilitators, the head of the outfit’s political wing, Balasingham Nadesan, stated on June 3, "The LTTE has no problems. Our only intention is to receive the Norwegians in Kilinochchi as they are the official facilitators. Till then we will not discuss anything." The Government, however, has rejected this demand outright and has asked the Norwegians to "give a clear road map" to a political and democratic solution.
The reality is that there is, at this stage, little impetus for peace on either side. The LTTE, despite overwhelming losses, cannot be pushed to the negotiating table with its current cumulative disadvantages, and would seek to restore at least some dominance – even if only through waves of terrorist attacks – before it was willing to seek a tactical peace again. On the other hand, the Government, bolstered by the military gains in the north, has been reiterating its demand for complete demilitarisation of the LTTE as a precondition for any further talks. The President Mahinda Rajapakse, on June 12, 2008, insisted that that his Government would not resume peace talks with the Tigers until the organisation agreed to disarm. "When they are weak they call on the international community to arrange a ceasefire. During this period they train and rearm and then fight back. This time if they want to talk, they should disarm first," he declared. He added further, "This man (Prabhakaran) and the three or four henchmen around him are blood-thirsty killers. They have no feelings. It is very difficult to deal with them," suggesting that, even if the LTTE were to meet his preconditions, it seems unlikely that he would ever be able (or willing) to conclude a peace deal with Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The beleaguered LTTE leadership has little option but to unleash violence against civilian targets in an attempt to force Colombo to ease the pressure in the North. Any such concession would, however, be tantamount to giving the LTTE a fresh lease of life, neutralising the military gains of the past two years. There can be little hope of any early respite from either terror or war in this bloody confrontation.
Clueless in the NC Hills
Counter-insurgency (CI) operations in Assam have shown little evidence of sustained success, both against the dominant United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and against peripheral groups such as the Black Widow (BW). Even as ULFA tends to consume a bulk of the state’s CI efforts, Districts such as the North Cachar (NC) Hills have, over the past five years, continued to remain affected by a ruthless localised stream of terror by the BW. Over these years, little change has been noticeable in the state’s abilities to restore order in this remote corner of Assam.
For a cadre strength of 300, out of which only a third is believed to be armed, BW’s ability to dominate Assam’s third largest District, spanning over 4,890 square kilometres, remains a fact. Past incidents suggest that the outfit, barely five years into existence, has not only been able to spread a complex web of terror across this District, but has, time and again, carried out terrorist strikes with extraordinary impunity.
The first five months of the current year have demonstrated a typical pattern in the attacks executed by the BW. Most of these attacks have targeted the Lumding-Silchar-Jiribam gauge conversion project of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) in the NC Hills District. Portions of the 214 kilometre gauge hill section from Silchar to Lumding junction, meanders through the District. Such attacks are part of the outfit’s effort to interdict work on the East-West Railway Corridor and other railway projects in the District.
On May 15, BW militants fired on a two-coach patrol train between the Mupa and Kalachand Stations in the NC Hills District. The driver of the train, N.N. Bora, was killed, while three others were injured, in the incident. Three days earlier, on May 12, two persons were killed and another injured when BW militants attacked railway workers engaged at a construction site at Migrendisa under the Haflong Police Station. This attack occurred only a day after the attack by the BW on railway quarters at Thoibasti, where eight labourers had been killed. Earlier on March 24, three persons, including two railway employees, were killed and two others wounded, when BW terrorists carried out an attack on the Harangajao Railway Station. Militants used grenades and fired at least 90 rounds of AK-47 and INSAS rifle ammunition during the attack.
Following the May 15 attack, the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) suspended rail operations along the Silchar and Lumding Junctions and evacuated its project staff from the District. The suspension of rail operations not only led to an acute shortage of basic goods in the District, but also blocked the single rail route used to reach goods to roadheads to the States of Manipur and Mizoram.
Other major attacks by the BW in the NC Hills District during the current year include:
The BW had announced a three-month ceasefire on March 25, 2008, a day after its cadres carried out the attack on the Harangajao Railway Station, virtually replicating the example set by the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), when the Bodo outfit had declared a ceasefire on October 8, 2004, after an orgy of violence claiming 32 lives in Sonitpur and Dhubri Districts between October 2 and 5, 2004. The State Government, then, had chosen to ignore the NDFB’s offer. The NDFB, however, had stuck to its ceasefire declaration, eventually forcing the Government to change track in April 2005. The BW’s patience, however, did not last that long. While the reasons behind the declaration of the ceasefire by the BW were not too clear, the State Government’s refusal to reciprocate made the group look for an opportunity to break away from what suddenly seemed to be a tactical blunder.
SF operations have not achieved significant results against the BW, except for the odd killing or arrest. In one of the few successes, on March 22, 2008, the 'deputy commander-in-chief' of the outfit, Franky Dimasa, was arrested, far from the NC Hills, in the Fatasil Ambari area in Guwahati city. Subsequently, a success to which it laid no claim was nevertheless ascribed to the Army: the BW blamed the Army for having carried out an attack on its cadres at Harelu on May 10, in which 12 militants were killed. Interestingly, the 8th Sikh Regiment of the Army did admit to a heavy exchange of fire between its personnel and BW cadres in the said location, but denied that any militant was killed. The BW used this pretext to revoke its self-declared ceasefire and initiated its latest killing spree. The Army remains categorical that no killings had occurred on that fateful day at Harelu and the BW’s claim is only a ploy to resume its activities.
Following the May 15 attack on the patrol train that led to the suspension of train services throughout the District, the BW came out with another face-saving measure. On May 19, it lifted its ‘ban’ on railway project activities and said that the evacuated railway staff could return to the District. It further described the gesture as a commitment to peace in the District and squarely blaming the State Government and the Army for the escalation in violence.
High profile militant attacks have invariably elicited war cries from the official establishment in Assam and the present instance was no different. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who heads the Unified Command Structure in the State, rebuffed BW’s renewed peace offer and announced that the Army had been instructed to conduct combing operations targeting the militants. SF presence in the District was augmented by moving in troops of the 57 Mountain Brigade posted at Masimpur in the neighbouring Cachar District to NC Hills. Other measures announced included:
There is ample reason to believe that such announcements are mere fire-fighting measures, intended to pacify certain quarters, without sufficiently enabling the SFs to take on and neutralize the militants. Within two days of announcing the deployment of 2,000 ex-servicemen in the District, the Chief Minister, on May 20, declared that the "response to such a proposal has not been good" and hence, the Government would now "form an auxiliary force with 1,000 surrendered militants." It needs mention that the use of surrendered ULFA (SULFA) cadres in CI operations has been the source of severe controversy in Assam.
As has been previously argued in SAIR, apart from the geographical advantage that this hilly District offers to the militants, persisting weaknesses in the Police administration continue to undermine the capacity of the SFs to restore a hold over the law and order situation.
This District has 175 Police personnel per 100,000 population but, crucially, less than seven Police personnel per 100 square kilometres. Six reserve forests and vast stretches of unclassified forest areas, accounting for 4,630 square kilometres – roughly 95 percent of the District’s territory – make NC Hills a veritable nightmare for such a thinly spread Police force. The entire District is administered by only four Police Stations and seven ‘non-sanctioned’ Police outposts. Vast stretches of the District’s territory thus remain entirely un-policed, serving as free hunting grounds for the militants. The fear of the marauding militants, coupled with the highly inadequate resources available with the Police, makes it almost impossible to establish any channels of effective intelligence and information. In the words of a former Police officer who served in the District, "The Police knows nothing. Even when it does, it is not capable of doing anything."
A year ago, in June 2007, the NC Hills District had hogged news headlines following the killing of two local high-profile politicians belonging to the Congress Party at the hands of the BW. Both politicians were engaged in a negotiation at one of the outfit’s hideouts, asking it to scale down its extortion demand before the polls to the Autonomous District Council (ADC) elections. The killing of the two led to the postponement of the elections. Later the Congress Party withdrew from the fray and the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine emerged victorious.
Following the June 2007 killing, the Assam Government had rushed in additional Central Para-military Force (CPMF) companies into the District and had announced several measures, including the setting up of four new Police Stations and a ‘full-scale Army flush-out’ operation in the NC Hills and the neighbouring Karbi Anglong District. As usual, by the time the dust settled down, the Government suffered a memory lapse. None of the announced measures, except for the transfer of the District Police chief, were actually implemented. The ‘full-scale Army flush-out’ was translated into a routine sweep operation in some of the militant strongholds, making little or no impact on the outfit’s capacities. The ‘sanitised’ areas quickly deteriorated, once again, into ‘liberated’ zones.
CI operations targeting the BW cadres are reportedly continuing in NC Hills. However, not a single BW cadre has either been arrested or killed so far, since the May 15 attack. The movement of trains during the night and work on the Railway projects continue to be suspended. However, the BW has also not been involved in any significant attack in the District, although some activities have been reported from neighbouring Meghalaya. A clueless Government of Assam continues to debate its response to the outfit’s ceasefire offer. In the consequent stalemate, an eerie silence that favours the BW’s future consolidation prevails over the NC Hills.
Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
June 9-15, 2007
Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.
Anti-terrorism Ordinance promulgated: On June 11, President Iajuddin Ahmed, through a gazette notification, promulgated the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance, 2008, which provides for the death penalty for offences such as terror financing and staging murder to create panic and jeopardise the country's sovereignty. The Ordinance provides for the constitution of Special Tribunals to deal with such offences, which are non-bailable. The Ordinance also empowers Bangladesh Bank to freeze accounts of suspected terrorists and terrorist organisations and to give directions to banks concerned to take preventive measures against monetary transactions for financing terrorist acts. The timeframe for resolving a case in anti-terrorist offences has been fixed at six months after the framing of charges. Daily Star, June 13, 2008.
Militants regrouping in south-western districts, indicates report: Intelligence sources have indicated that, after a respite of months since the promulgation of the Emergency, Islamist militant organisations are regrouping again in 12 south-western Districts of the country. At least 12,000 cadres of four militant organisations, Allahr Dal, Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) and Hizb-ut-Towhid, have become active again in the Districts of Kushtia, Meherpur, Jhenidah, Magura, Chuadanga, Jessore, Khulna, Narail, Bagerhat, Rajbari, Faridpur and Satkhira. Daily Star, June 12, 2008.
'Iknoor Khalsa Fauj' (IKF) front-ranking activist arrested: Punjab Police on June 11 disclosed the arrest of Bibi Ranjeet Kour, a front ranking activist of 'Iknoor Khalsa Fauj' (IKF) from village Ranwa between Barnala and Patiala. Official sources said that Biwi had approached 'Khalistan Zindabad Force' (KZF) chief Ranjeet Singh Neeta in Pakistan for supply of arms to three militants, who had been assigned the task of killing Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Pyara Singh Baniyarawale. The militants, including Malkeet Singh, Surjeet Singh and Harbans Singh, were arrested by the Police from Dumi Malpur in the Kanachak area along the Jammu-Akhnoor road on June 3, along with a consignment of arms and ammunition, including one AK-56 rifle and five Chinese pistols, besides a large quantity of ammunition. Official sources further disclosed that Bibi Ranjeet Kour was a close associate of Jagtar Singh Hawara, one of the killers of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh. Bibi Ranjeet Kour, who was also stated to be working for the Pakistani external intelligence agency, the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI), had agreed to help IKF after Malkeet Singh and his associates met her at her Ranwa residence in February this year, soon after Malkeet was released from Patiala Central Jail after serving a 10 month sentence in connection with an arms case. Daily Excelsior, June 13, 2008.
Maoists set ablaze 22 trucks in Chhattisgarh: Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres, on June 9, set ablaze 22 tipper trucks of the Essar Steel plant and removed a stretch of the Kirandole rail line in Dantewada District, resulting in the derailment of two engines. A group of 200 armed Maoists stormed the industrial pocket at Bacheli village near Kirandole and burnt the trucks meant for transporting iron-ore. The attack continued till late in the night and the loss was said to be quite extensive. The Hindu, June 10, 2008.
Former King Gyanendra leaves Narayanhiti Palace: Former King Gyanendra Shah left the Narayanhiti Palace on June 11, two weeks after the country’s Maoist-led Constituent Assembly (CA) voted to abolish the world’s last Hindu monarchy. Addressing the Nepali people at a press conference at the Palace, the former King denied all allegations levelled against him and his family during the last seven years and highlighted the contributions of the Shah dynasty. He said that he respects the decision of the CA and would cooperate in every way towards the successful implementation of that decision and added that, "I have not thought of leaving the country." Himalayan Times, June 12, 2008.
Afghan President Karzai threatens to send forces into Pakistan: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, on June 15, threatened to send Afghan troops across the border to fight Taliban militants in Pakistan. Accusing Pakistan of sheltering most of the fighters involved in recent incidents in the Garmser District of Helmand Province, he told a News Conference that Afghanistan had the right to self-defence, and because militants cross over from Pakistan "to come and kill Afghans and kill coalition troops, it exactly gives us the right to do the same". Karzai added, "This is a two-way road in this case, and Afghans are good at the two-way road journey. We will complete the journey and we will get them and we will defeat them. We will avenge all that they have done to Afghanistan for the past so many years." Daily Times, June 16, 2008.
11 soldiers and 10 militants killed in US attack in FATA: At least 11 paramilitary soldiers and 10 militants were killed in an air strike by the US-led forces on a Frontier Corps security post in the Sheikh Baba area along the Afghan border in Mohmand tribal region on the night of June 10. 15 persons, including six paramilitary soldiers, were reportedly injured in the attack. Officials of the Mohmand Rifles have said that 40 of their men are missing. A spokesman of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Maulvi Umar, said that eight Taliban had been killed and nine others wounded in clashes. He also claimed that the Taliban had captured seven soldiers of the Afghan National Army and shot down a NATO helicopter, killing its crew. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on June 11 condemned the air strike and said his Government would ensure the sovereignty of the country. Dawn, June 12, 2008.
Government scraps peace deal with Taliban: The Pakistan Government scrapped its peace deal with the Taliban as militants have reneged on their promise to stop violence, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik said. "The Swat agreement is scrapped as the militants have [continued] their attacks on security forces," Malik told a group of reporters in Islamabad on June 9. Separately, the Tehreek-e-Taliban spokesman Maulvi Umar told ARY TV that Taliban would turn cities and settled areas into battlefields if the Government scrapped its truce with them. Daily Times, June 10, 2008.
‘Militants from Pakistan most likely authors of future US attack’, says US military official: Any future terror attack against US interests would most likely be carried out by militants based in Pakistan’s restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen said on June 10. The top military official told the Press in Washington that tribal groups with ties to al Qaeda in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) represent the worst security threat to the US. "I believe fundamentally that if the US is going to get hit, it is going to come out of the planning of the leadership in FATA," he told reporters, adding, "That is a threat to us that must be dealt with." The new Government in Pakistan, Mullen said, faces "significant challenges as it gets underway, and at the same time is looking to the best way to deal with this challenge". Daily Times, June 11, 2008.
91 LTTE militants and 27 soldiers among 120 persons killed during the week: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militants, 27 soldiers and two civilians were among 120 persons killed in separate incidents between June 9 and June 15, 2008. At least nine LTTE militants were killed as the troops stormed the outfit’s FDL (Forward Defence Line) in the Alankulam area, about two kilometres north to the north bund of the Giant Tank, in Mannar District on June 9. Two soldiers were also killed while 15 others sustained injuries during the clash that lasted for nearly four hours. Troops later recovered the dead bodies of three female militants from the area. Separately, at least four LTTE militants and three sailors were killed as the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel foiled an LTTE attack on a SLN outpost at Erukkalampiddi in the Mannar Island in the morning of June 11. On the same day, at least seven LTTE militants were killed in the Nedunkandal and west of Navvi areas in Mannar District. Two LTTE bunkers were also neutralised in the Nedunkandal area. Further, on June 13, at least seven LTTE militants and four soldiers were killed during confrontations that erupted in the north of Janakapura, Kokkuthuduvai and Kiriibbanwewa areas of Vavuniya District. At least 15 militants and five soldiers were injured during these confrontations. Sri Lanka Army, June 9-15, 2008.