Mannar rice farmers shot
[TamilNet, Monday, 24 January 2000, 16:45 GMT]
Five farmers guarding their rice paddy fields in Kunjukulam Vayal in the Mannar District were shot dead last night. Their bodies were brought to the Mannar hospital this evening.
Kunjukulam Vayal is a farming hamlet in an area separating Government and LTTE controlled areas of the Vanni.
Sources said shots were fired from the direction of the area under Sri Lanka Army control. They added that SLA soldiers seeking to ambush LTTE fighters might have fired at the farmers.
One of the victims is from Naruvilak Kulam, while the others are residents of Kunjukulam Vayal.
Meanwhile, a large number of residents from the coastal suburbs of Jaffna town are reported to have fled to safer areas following intense shelling last night. Two civilians were injured in the shelling, sources in the northern town said.
Kandaiah Kunasekaram, 45, a father of four, was injured when a shell hit his house at Arialai around 7.45 p.m. yesterday. He was admitted to the Jaffna teaching hospital. One of his legs needed to be amputated, hospital sources said.
In another incident, a 48-year-old woman, Eskalan Sebamalaiamma, was injured when a shell exploded at Koiyathoddam around 7.30 p.m. yesterday.