Three SLA killed in Batticaloa attack

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 September 2000, 15:59 GMT]
Three Sri Lanka army soldiers were killed and one was wounded when the Liberation Tigers attacked a road clearing patrol near Vavunathivu, five kilometers northwest of Batticaloa town Monday morning around 7.20 a.m. The Tigers took away the body of one of the soldiers, sources said.

A civilian was killed when SLA reinforcements fired on the large number of civilians who were at this key entry point between the town and the LTTE controlled western hinterland of the district sources said.

His body was brought to the Batticaloa hospital later in the day.

However, a youth admitted to the Batticaloa hospital with wounds and fractures later in the morning said that he saw the bodies of three civilians lying near the Vavunathivu Pradhesiya Sabha (local government body) building.

He was severely assaulted by SLA reinforcements following the attack but was rescued by members of a armed Tamil auxiliary force working with SLA in Vavunathivu sources said.

The assaulted youth, Ponnambalam Kirupaharan, was bringing firewood to Batticaloa town for sale when he was assaulted by the SLA reinforcements. He said that he identified one of the bodies as that of Velaapodi Kirupa, a pregnant woman from his village, Kurinchaamunai, who was on her way to the

Batticaloa hospital.

He said that more civilians from the villages in the Paduvankarai region may have been wounded when troops fired on people who were thronging ahead of the Vavunathivu SLA entry point this morning.

Vavunathivu is the main entry point on the lagoon coast between the LTTE held western hinterland of the Batticaloa district and the Batticaloa town which is under the control of the SLA.

The SLA camp at Vavunathivu guards the Valaiyiravu bridge across the lagoon. Army patrols from the camp regularly move a short distance into LTTE controlled territory ahead of the detachment's forward defences.

The entry point is congested in the morning on week days as school children, teachers, officers, farmers, traders etc., have to pass through the main check post by the Vavunathivu camp. Armed cadres of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) check civilians ahead of the SLA point.

All civilian traffic to and from the Paduvankarai hinterland was blocked from morning. The SLA's 23-3 brigade headquarters in Batticaloa town opened up with artillery guns on the LTTE held region across the lagoon soon after the attack in Vavunathivu.

Meanwhile a member of the PLOTE was killed and another wounded this morning at Mavadivembu, 21 kilometers north of Batticaloa when an gunman opened fire on them around 11.30 a.m.

 

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