Soldier killed in mine blast
[TamilNet, Friday, 13 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A soldier of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) was killed in a mine explosion at Korakallimadu, 20 km north of Batticaloa, on the Batticaloa Valaichenai Road around 10.30 a.m. this morning, said sources in Valaichenai. There were no other casualties.
The other soldiers in his platoon, which was on a mine clearing operation in the area, fired at random for about 15 minutes after the incident, but no one was injured.
The soldier was killed when his improvised mine detector - a rake attached to a string which he was dragging along the road - activated the fuse of the mine that was buried in road side.
Though there was mild panic at the explosion and firing that followed in the area, it subsided soon, said sources. The soldiers were from Kiran military camp.
Army sources in Valaichenai said that the LTTE is using booby traps in the area to harass troops. These are designed to hit soldiers on regular route clearing patrols.
One such trap is made of a string tied to the pin of grenade hidden by the road which explodes when the improvised mine detector -the rake- drags the string.