5 civilians missing in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Friday, 08 August 2008, 09:20 GMT]
Five cattle breeders in Thoppikkal area have gone missing following the Claymore ambush at Periyavaddavaan in Tharavai (Thoppikkal) area in Batticaloa district Tuesday evening where 23 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed, sources in Batticaloa said. Meanwhile, more than 500 persons who had gone to the above area on errands were made to kneel by the SLA for a whole day while assaulting some of them, the sources added.
The missing civilians are from Kudumpimalai, Tharavai, Miyaangku’lam, Aliyaaoadai and Periyavaddavaan areas, according to civil society sources.
The SLA soldiers manning these areas drive the cattle towards the Front Defence Lines during night time for their own safety causing many of the cattle to loose their legs in booby traps and landmines, the cattle owners said.
Further, SLA soldiers detained Village officers, paddy harvesting hands, milkmen, and cattle breeders who travelled through Pulipaaintha Paalam, Chanthanamadu Paalam and Chengkaladi Black Bridge, for more than a day, forcing the detainees to kneel, affected residents said.
Paduvaankarai residents, displaced during the 2007 SLA offensive, though resettled, are scared to remain in their places due to SLA harassment and restrictions, the sources added.