Sri Lanka News

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Trinco on fire, killing spree continues

At least 13 persons including one soldier and two policemen were killed and 50 others injured in two separate incidents in Trincomalee where a local curfew was imposed after the eastern port city plunged into chaos with damage to public property.

In the first incident two policemen were killed and two others injured when yet another claymore mine set off by suspected LTTE cadres exploded under a police truck in Trincomalee.

In the second incident a powerful parcel bomb reportedly fixed onto a bicycle placed near the public market exploded around 3.20 pm killing a soldier and four civilians on the spot. Some 50 people injured in the explosion were rushed to the Trincomalee hospital.

Thereafter an angry mob armed with clubs had attacked shops and vehicles. Six shops were brunt and 15 vehicles damaged.

The police and security personnel tried to restore law and order in the area and later an indefinite police curfew was imposed.

As the death toll among the armed forces topped the 20 mark in a week and with the international community condemning the killings amidst the National New Year and the second round of peace talks due to take place next week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa directed the heads of the three forces to restore law and order.

Minister and member of the government peace delegation Rohitha Bogollagama and North Central Chief Minister Bertie Premalal Dissanayake were sent as government representatives to Trincomalee to calm the tense situation. Minister Bogollagama told state TV last night the situation was under control and he hoped it would return to normal today. The SLMM too was in the area monitoring the situation.

Eastern Range DIG Rohan Abeywardene told the Daily Mirror that additional police and security forces had been deployed shortly after the clashes and the situation was brought under control within a couple of hours of a curfew being imposed.

Last evening an unidentified gunman believed to be a member of the LTTE pistol gang shot and injured an Army Major and a private near the Mirawudai army camp in Batticaloa.

They were rushed to the Batticaloa hospital and the Major who was in a critical condition was airlifted to the National Hospital Colombo.

Meanwhile two police sergeants were killed on the spot and two constables critically injured when a claymore mine blew up a police truck in the Kumburupiddi area around 8.30 a.m. yesterday. The truck was on its way to Trincomalee town from Kuchchaveli police station.

The dead sergeants were identified as Abeysiri and Liyanage. The injured constables Kamalsiri and Wasantha were rushed to Trincomalee hospital in a critical condition. According to military sources, the mine had been planted on the Trincomalee – Kuchchaveli main road about eight kilometres away from the Kuchchaveli police station.

A remote controlled device had been used to detonate the mine. Trincomalee police said the police truck had left for Trincomalee town in the morning to buy vegetables and provisions for the police mess in Kuchchaveli. Security in the area had been tightened by deploying special police and additional troops. The SLMM has also been informed about the incident.

Yesterday’s claymore attack believed to be by suspected LTTE cadres was the third major mine attack on three consecutive days against security personnel.

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April 13, 2006 - Posted by | News and politics, South Asia, World News

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