Grenade explosion injures four in Valaichenai

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 June 2003, 11:52 GMT]
Four people were injured when a grenade thrown by unknown assailants exploded near a butcher store in the Muslim market in Valaichenai, 32km north of Batticaloa town, at 10.15 am Sunday, according to Batticaloa police sources.

The injured were immediately taken to Meeravodai Hospital for treatment, according to local medical sources.

Following the grenade blast businesses were closed and the town was deserted. Additional police and security forces were brought into Valaichenai town to strengthen security, according to security sources.

Prior to racial riots in 1983, Tamil owned shops dominated Valaichenai town. Many Tamil shop owners left the town after widespread arson and looting in 1983 destroyed their businesses. Many of the remaining Tamil traders gradually left the town due continued arson and harrasment by muslims. However, a minority of Tamil traders continued to own shops in Valaichenai.

In June 26 last year there were Tamil-Muslim clashes where Tamils and Muslims burnt each others business properties. Following these incidents, Tamil traders moved out of Valachenai and have built temporary shops in Valaichenai-Kalkuda road.


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