3RD LEAD (Adds details)

Anuradhapura SLA commander killed in ambush

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 March 2007, 14:15 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army commander of the Anuradhapura Saliyapura Gajaba Regimental HeadQuarters, Colonel Jayantha Shurawera, and three of his men inlcuding a Major, and four national park employees were killed in a gunfire ambush inside the Wilpattu wildlife sanctuary around 10:30 a.m. Friday, military officials in Colombo said.

Wilpattu
Wilpattu national Chief Warden, Wasantha Pushpananda, employees M. D. Withana, Pradeep Navaratna and Kalum Anjana Jawardana, were also killed in the ambush.

The SLA major was identified as Major Jayaratna.

The vehicle in which they were riding, was missing in the park, bordering Anuradhapura, located in Puttalam district.

A group of SLA soldiers who went to search for their missing commander had spotted 8 dead bodies.

Additional SLA troops were deployed to recover the dead bodies.

The ambush was reported 30 km inside the park, where a Claymore attack took place in May 2006.

The Wilpattu wildlife sanctuary, which remained closed for nearly 14 years due to the war, was re-opened after the 2002 February Ceasefire Agreement.

Meanwhlie, 3 Special Task Force elite troopers were killed and 12 injured when attackers detonated a Claymore mine, targeting a Buffel Armoured Personnel Carrier in Periyapullumalai in Batticaloa district around 2:00.p.m. Injured troopers were airlifted to Polonnaruwa hospital.


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