Special Forces commandos wounded in Vavuniya blast

[TamilNet, Friday, 06 August 1999, 06:54 GMT]
(Correction) Seven Special Forces (SF) commandos of the Sri Lanka Army were wounded this noon around 11.50 a.m. near Vavuniya town when the truck in which they were travelling was hit by a claymore mine.

Other SF commandos in the convoy, angered by the attack, had forced their way into the camp of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) at Pandaarikulam near the spot where the claymore had exploded and had indiscriminately assaulted members of the paramilitary group. Four TELO cadres who were beaten up severely by the SF were admitted to the Vavuniya hospital. The Sri Lankan military intelligence believes that the Liberation Tigers may be operating with the connivance of the TELO in Vavuniya. Sources said that a civilian, Sellaiah Sakthivel, 43 of Maharambaikulam was killed in the blast. Another Seeni Subramaniam, 59, from Murakkottanchenai in Batticaloa visiting relatives in Thonikkal was wounded. The claymore had been directed at a SF convoy from Mannar passing by Pattaanichchi Puliyankulam said Police sources in Vavuniya town. But the damage is not severe because the truck escaped the direct hit of the blast they said. The claymore went off about half a kilometre from the Veppankulam STF camp, in the high security zone of Vavuniya and its suburbs, which lie on the access road to the Mannar. A cycle claymore mine hit an STF truck at Veppankulam on Wednesday Aug.4, killing 10 commandos of the elite arm of the Sri Lankan security forces. The area is being cordoned off and searched by the army and the STF said sources.

Residents said that gunfire is also heard in the area. Suntharalingam Sanjeevan, 13, of Ukkilakkulam was hit by a bullet while walking down Maadaasamy road near the scene of the blast. Vavuniya town is tense following the attack said residents.


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