SLA soldiers, gunmen clash in Valaichenai, civilians injured
[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 October 2005, 17:03 GMT]
Two civilians and two Sri Lanka Army soldiers were seriously injured in Sunkankerny in Valaichenai Sunday evening. The soldiers were wounded when a group of unidentified gunmen launched an ambush on an SLA patrol returning to Kinniyadi military camp, 30 km north of Batticaloa town. The SLA soldiers, who exchanged gunfire with the ambushing gunmen for 30 minutes from 6:30 p.m., continued to fire at random for two hours, civilian sources said. Two civilians wounded in the gunfire were rushed to Valaichenai hospital and later transferred to Batticaloa Hospital in serious condition, hospital sources said.
The clash was reported near Sunkankerny Pillayar temple.
The two SLA soldiers seriously injured in the clash were rushed to Polannaruwa hospital, SLA sources said.
The injured civilians were identified as Ms. Nagarajah Vijeya, 18, and Mrs. Sinnathamby Kannagi, 35.
The group of gunmen ambushed a patrol unit of SLA soldiers who were returning to Kinniyadi SLA camp after a regular road monitoring operation, according to SLA sources.
More than 500 SLA soldiers have cordoned off the area and launched a search operation following the clash, sources added.
Earlier on Saturday evening, two unidentified gunmen riding a motorbike lobbed two grenades at the main sentry point located in front of the Kinniyadi SLA camp. The sentry point was damaged. The soldiers arrested ten Tamil youths in the area Saturday night and the youths were released Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.
Tension prevails in Valaichenai for the second day.