Seven killed in Vavuniya blast

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Five members of the People's Liberation Orgainsation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), including its military wing leader for the Vavuniya district, Thas, alias Sinnathas, were killed and 6 others wounded, when a claymore mine exploded this afternoon. Two bystanders were also killed and two others were wounded, said police sources in Vavuniya.

The mine exploded under the van they were travelling in, around 1.15 p.m, at Umamaheswaran Road at Kovilkulam, 1 km east of Vavuniya, near SLA's sentry post.

"There was a huge explosion, followed by sounds of gunfire, belived to be from the SLA sentry" said one local resident.

PLOTE's military wing leader and the group's second in command, Mr. Manikathasan escaped as his vehicle had drove before the mine exploded, said sources in Vavuniya.

A wire leading from the area where the blast took place confirmed that the mine was activated from a bare patch of land on the side of the road, said sources.

The other PLOTE carders killed in the blast have been identified as: Julius (S. Pathmaseelan), Vinthan, Mayooran, and Shanthan, said police sources.

The wounded PLOTE cadres have been identified as Babu, Lal, Moses, Rajah, Kamal and Lawrence.

Srisobia, 17, and an another woman who is yet to be identified, were killed and Jeyanthi, 37, and Bahmini, 17, were wounded in the incident.

The PLOTE is active in the Vavuniya area where they work with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in tracking down the LTTE. The PLOTE has a fortified camp and several sentries in the area where the mine went off, said sources.

 

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