General Ratwatte escapes mortar attack

[TamilNet, Sunday, 06 December 1998, 16:23 GMT]
General Anurudha Ratwatte, the Deputy Minister of Defence had a narrow escape, from an LTTE mortar attack at Oddusuddan around 2.15 this afternoon. According to the Lakhande Radio's Sinhala service the LTTE's first mortar landed 15 metres from where the General stood.

ratwatte_3-p.gifThe radio said that about 4 or 5 mortars that were fired by the LTTE exploded, while General Ratwatte was about to get into his vehicle after meeting civilains and troops who had recently captured Oddusuddan.

Four soldiers were killed and 42 in injured in this attack the 'Lakhande' radio said.

In an exclusive interview with the radio the deputy minister explained the incident.

He said:

"We visited Oddusuddan area which was captured from the LTTE a few days back. I went there to encourage the troops and to speak to the civilians there under the control of the army."

"There is a huge Hindu temple. I spent about half an hour speaking to the civilians who were inside the temple. There were more than 750 civilians belonging to more than 220 families. I inquired from them about their needs and requirements. I asked them how the army was treating them. They said they are well looked after by the army and that they did not have any trouble from them."

"After speaking to the civilians, I came out of the temple. There were many soldiers in front of the temple. After addressing them, I went to my vehicle. When I was about to get into the vehicle, the first mortar fired by the LTTE exploded at a distance of about 15 meters from the place where I stood. About 4, 5 mortars fired by the LTTE exploded around the place. Three soldiers were wounded. We left the place taking the wounded with us"

The radio said that the LTTE launched mortar attack at the convoy of vehicles of the Deputy Minister of Defence and the top brass of the security forces. Four soldiers were killed and 42 injured in the attack. Six are critical the radio said.

The minister was to travel by road to Mankulam from Oddusuddan, but he canceled the road journey after the attack the radio added.


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06.12.98   Tiger shelling wounds SLA officer
05.12.98   Journalists to visit Oddusuddan
04.12.98   SLA abandons operation Jeyasikurui

 

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