3RD LEAD (Adds photos)

Three injured in predawn attack on paramilitary camp

[TamilNet, Monday, 21 March 2005, 05:12 GMT]
Three paramilitary cadres of the Karuna Group were wounded in a predawn attack by gunmen suspected to be Liberation Tigers Monday in Theevuchenai, an interior hamlet near the Batticaloa-Polannaruwa district border, Police said. The wounded paramilitary cadres, including a man identified as ‘Mangalam Master’, were admitted to Polannaruwa Base Hospital Monday morning, Welikanda Police sources said. On Sunday, Sri Lanka army (SLA) spokesman denied a report in a Colombo weekend paper that the Karuna Group was running a camp in Theevuchenai, an area controlled by the SLA.

Injured Karuna Group cadres
Mangalam Master, a key member of paramilitary Karuna Group at the Polannaruwa Base Hospital.
Injured Karuna Group cadres
Injured Karuna Group cadre.
The Karuna Group cadres admitted to Polannaruwa Base Hospital gave their names to the medical authorities as Mr. Aiyathurai Satheesh, Mr. Sinnamuththu Ravindrarajah and Mr. Kandasamy Deveraj.

An SLA officer in Polannaruwa said ‘Mangalam Master’, a paramilitary cadre believed to be a key operative of the ‘Karuna Group’, sustained only minor injuries in the attack.

But medical sources in Polannaruwa said his injuries were serious.

A five year old girl, Ms. Appuhamy Ranbanda Premalatha, was injured in the cross fire and was also admitted to the Polannaruwa hospital.

Police brought the wounded paramilitary cadres to the hospital around 9 a.m. Monday.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka army sources in the area claimed that two LTTE fighters were killed in the firefight in Theevuchenai.

However, Welikanda Police sources said two dead men were cadres of the Karuna Group.

The attack occurred around 3 a.m. according the sources.

Liberation Tigers accuse the Sri Lanka army for employing the paramilitary Karuna Group to conscript children and young men in the remote interior villages on the Polannaruwa-Batticaloa border to carry out a proxy war against them in the east.

SLA denies the charge.

 

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