Fourteen injured as troops attack civilians, MP in Mannar
[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 November 2004, 10:24 GMT]
Fourteen civilians were seriously injured when Sri Lanka army troops indiscriminately attacked hundreds of people in Mannar town Thursday. Tamil National Alliance MP for Mannar, Mr. Vino Noharathalingam and the parish priest for Thalvupaadu were also attacked in the rampage. Hundreds of SLA troops, firing in the air, ran amok in the town centre with iron bars and clubs, pulling down Heroes’ Day decorations and assaulting civilians. They attacked and damaged the political office of the Liberation Tigers in Mannar town.
Mr. Noharathalingam MP told TamilNet that he was assaulted by soldiers while he was trying to help people who fled the town in panic, leaving behind their belongings, vehicles and bicycles.
A shelter that was constructed near the main bus station in Mannar town for the Heroes’ Day was pulled down by SLA troops.
The Sri Lanka army has poured hundreds of additional troops in Mannar town amid the growing tension, a spokesman for the Catholic Church said.
Troubles erupted around noon when the military blocked crowds of civilians from raising the Thamil Eelam flag in the Mannar town centre to mark the Great Heroes’ Week, Police said.