Islamic extremists attack Mutur journalist's home

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 June 2002, 11:36 GMT]
Armed persons said to be members of an extremist Islamic militant group attacked the home of Tamil journalist, Mr. P. Satsivanantham, in Mutur town Wednesday afternoon, causing considerable damage to equipment and property, Sri Lanka Police sources said. Hundreds of Tamils in Mutur sought refuge in the local Church as armed gangs of an Islamic group calling itself 'Osama Front' went on rampage through the eastern town Wednesday morning, attacking houses in the Tamil neighbourhoods of the eastern town.

The Islamic extremists attacked an orphanage run by the journalist. The children here have sought refuge in St. Anthony’s Church, Rev. Saanthan Emmanuel, the parish priest said.

The attack on Mr. Satsivanantham was connected to a report by the journalist to the BBC’s Tamil service, broadcast Tuesday night, Mr. A. Nadesan, the Vice President of the East Lanka Journalists’ Association, said. “We wish to draw attention to the fact that another Tamil journalist, Mr. S. Jeyanandamoorty, was also threatened by an Islamic extremist group,” Mr. Nadesan added. Mr. Satsivanantham is the Mutur correspondent for the Tamil daily, Virakesari and contributes to several international media.

Armed gangs said to be of the Osama Front (Ani) began attacking Tamil homes as soon the Police lifted curfew Wednesday morning. The Police clamped indefinite curfew on the town again in the afternoon.

Additional police and army troops have been dispatched to Mutur town to quell the violence, sources said.

The Norwegian head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Trincomalee Ms Victoria Lund rushed to Mutur Wednesday morning accompanied by Jordanian monitor Abdul Fattah to see the situation, SLMM sources said.

Muttur was put under a day and night curfew Tuesday by the Police when violence erupted in Mutur. south to a village . The march by the Tamils from the village of Pachchanoor in Mutur south to protest against the attack on the Liberation Tigers political activists at Velanai in Jaffna district by the navy personnel and the attack on LTTE's political office in Mutur provoked the violence, sources said.

Several persons were wounded during yesterday's attacks. Five were admitted to the Trincomalee general hospital and one of them has been transferred to Colombo as his condition is said to be critical.

 

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