Eighteen killed in Jaffna blast
[TamilNet, Friday, 11 September 1998, 06:49 GMT]
Sources in Jaffna said that a massive explosion this morning at the Jaffna Municipal council office had killed 18 people including senior members of the Sri Lankan security forces. The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) confirmed that Jaffna town commander, Brigadier Susantha Mendis and his Principal Staff Officer (PSO), Captain Ramanayaka, were killed in the blast.
Sri Lankan Police sources said that Jaffna Police HQ Inspector Mohanadas, Senior Superindent of Police(SSP) Chandra Perera, ASP Sarath Fernando and ASP Chandramohan were also killed.
SSP Chandra Perera was chief of the Criminal Detection Bureau formerly and had been recently transferred to the peninsula as SSP for Jaffna.
Sources in Jaffna said that the condition of the Jaffna Mayor, Pon Sivapalan, who was wounded in the explosion at the Municipal council office this morning is critical.
|An army soldier walks among the rubble of the Jaffna municipal council 11 September after it was hit by a claymore bomb attack that killed mayor Pon Sivapalan and 11 others, including the region's top army brigadier and police officers.photo/afp/sena vidagama |
They said that he might be flown down to Colombo for emergency operation by helicopter this afternoon.
A Police source in Jaffna town said that the Mayor Sivapalan has succumbed to his wounds.
However, the TULF in Colombo denied the report and insisted that he will be soon brought down to Colombo for emergency treatment.
The Sri Lankan security forces personnel had gone to the JMC office for a meeting with the Mayor, said sources.
Five of the others killed in the blast were identified as S.Pathmanathan, Administrative Officer in the Jaffna Municipal Council, M. Eeswaran, Municipal engineer, Mallika Rasaratnam, architect, Pathmarajah, stenographer
and a Police Constable identified as Gerard.
The sources said that the situation is tense in Jaffna town and its environs and that the SLA has sealed off the Jaffna Municipal area. Some of the Municipal Council workers are still being held in the council building which belongs to the Nallur temple (Kalyana Mandapam) for further inquiries.
An ex Tamil militant official in Jaffna town said that two civilians were killed and several were wounded when SLA troops fired indiscriminately in retaliation in the Nallur area following the explosion.