Troops were located parallel to A-9 Highway and old Murikandi-Kokavil Railway Station where LTTE massacre on "Yal Devi" passenger train occurred. The Full packed Yal Devi train on its run 19 January 1985 was blasted by Tiger terrorists, triggering a landmine. Twenty-eight Army soldiers and eleven civilians lost their lives, and a total of twenty soldiers, five civilians and three Police Constables, suffered injuries due to this terrorist act. Nevertheless, the train driver, thanks to his presence of mind and bravery pushed all the injured into the carriage, connecting the diesel locomotive and speedily continued its journey, leaving all other twelve compartments behind, since the train remained disconnected as a result of the impact of the blast. However, the driver ensured all casualties were delivered to the nearest hospital at the next railway station, just a couple of minutes later. He still lives to relate his saga.
Kokavil is important due to various reasons. On 11 July 1990 Sri Lanka Army lost the Kokavil Army camp which guarded Rupavahini relay tower and Captain Saliya Upul Aladeniya sacrificed his life and been awarded the highest spirit in combat, the gallantry medal "Parama Weera Vibhushanaya" (PWV) for his fight against Tiger terrorists valiantly without reinforcements until his camp was destroyed by the terrorists. He received orders to abandon the camp, but he refused to do so as the majority of his troops were injured by then and while bullets are running low. He was the first to be nominated for this prestigious Parama Weera Vibhushanaya upon his supreme sacrifice and later Hasalaka Gamini was awarded the same for his supreme sacrifice to save Elephant Pass camp on 14 July 1991.