Children injured in grenade blast

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Two children in Kalkudah, 32 km north of Batticaloa were injured when a grenade they were playing with exploded. David Jayaseelan (12) and his brother David Varatharajan (11) had discovered the grenade in their garden. Jayaseelan is warded at Batticaloa hospital, while Varathrajan has been admitted to Valaichenai hospital.

Local NGOs have mounted a strident campaign against land mines and grenades left behind by the warring parties in places of civilian habitation which has killed and maimed non-combatants - especially children.

Meanwhile the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fired from Naasivantheevu across the Valaichenai lagoon at the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) camp at Peythalai yesterday at 6.30 p.m., said sources in Valaichenai.

The exchange of fire took place 30 km north of Batticaloa. The SLA returned fire. There are no casualties reported from either side.

Around the same time, at Valaichenai town, the SLA opened fire on a group of 2 - 3 Tigers who had entered the town. There were no casualties. This morning at 10.30 a.m. the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) used small arms and mortars at a party of Tigers at Karuvaakerni, a village adjacent to Valaichenai.

The LTTE was crossing the main road when this happened. The Tigers did not return fire.

Civilian casualties are high in the area as a consequence of the military tension which pervades the greater Valaichenai junction.

Civilian areas in Valaichenai have been continuously subjected to shelling from the SLA camps which dot the locality.

There are about ten Sri Lankan army camps in and around the Valaichenai junction, highlighting the importance of the Main Supply Route (MSR) to the Sri Lankan garrison in Batticaloa town.


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