Tractor triggers pressure mine
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 August 2002, 02:06 GMT]
A 26-year old driver was killed instantly Monday afternoon at Ariyalai near Jaffna town when his tractor ran over a pressure mine left in the area, police sources said. Another youth aged 24 was admitted to Jaffna teaching hospital with serious injuries.
The deceased, Jeyabalasingham Jayachchandran, had been transporting bricks and sand from Ariyalai since early morning. On his fifth trip, the heavily laden tractor was destroyed by the buried mine. Selliah Nixon was named as the wounded man.
The dead youth was thrown away about forty feet from the blast site, police sources said. Residents expressed shock and grief after the incident. The Jaffna Magistrate, Mr. R. T. Viknarajah, visited the scene and held the inquest.
The incident occurred as an American de-mining team extended its stay in Jaffna to remove mines and other explosives devices from the peninsula. A team of one hundred Indian de-mining experts is shortly expected to reach Jaffna where a group of British de-mining experts is already at work.
According to humanitarian agencies, more than one million mines remain buried in schools, public buildings and other places in Jaffna peninsula.
These need to be removed enabling the displaced to resettle in their villages and students to attend schools without fear, they say.