4TH LEAD (CORRECTION)
Massacre grave unearthed in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 July 2008, 07:03 GMT]
A mass grave, containing skeletons bearing gunshot wounds, has been discovered Wednesday morning at Paalameenmeadu, 6 km north of Batticaloa city, near a Tsunami resettlement. The grave was found after the IDPs, who were engaged in digging wells near their camp, unearthed body parts in one of the wells Monday. At least 32 pieces of skeletons have been recovered with cloths since 9:30 a.m., when Judge B. Ramakannan from Batticaloa visited the massacre site with Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) M.M.A. Rahman and the Police. The site, located 1.5 km from a Sri Lankan military post, manned by police and later by the Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA).
Emptied rounds were also located from the mass grave, according to initial reports, which alluded that the killings could have taken place 4 years ago and that there could be more than 16 slain inside a single grave.
There were also speculations that the victims could be civilians who disappeared or combatants.
However, police said it was too early to give any indication on the number of bodies or the period when the massacre has taken place.
Both male and female clothes have been recovered in the massacre grave.
Tsunami affected refugees from Moothoor were settled at the site two years ago.