Bomber's remains in hospital mortuary

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Shops were closed and Pt. Pedro town, 32 km north of Jaffna, was quiet today, after the killing of Brigadier Larry Wijeratne, Commanding Officer of 524 brigade yesterday by a suicide bomber, said sources in Jaffna.

The harbour, which is near the Brigade Headquarters Pt. Pedro, was not functioning and Hartley College Jaffna, which is within the security zone of the Brigade HQ was closed.

There were few people on the roads though the streets were not completely deserted.

Meanwhile, details from Jaffna emerged that the suicide bomber was not a woman, but a man, said sources.

Brigadier Wijeratne had finished a tea party hosted by a trade guild on the upper floor of Weeravaku Building in Pt. Pedro town.

He had then set out to the Brigade HQ with two motorbikes escorting him, unlike the usual four bike escort.

The suicide bomber seems to have to have expected Brigadier Wijeratne to take the Harbour Road, which skirts the Pt. Pedro bus stand in a semi-circle.

Wijeratne took the Fishmarket Road instead, which forms the other half of the semi-circle, but meets at the same point.

The suicide bomber had approached Harbour Road via Odakai Road and waited at the junction for the convoy to come along Harbour Road.

However, the convoy came along Fishmarket Road. The bomber had to therefore run forward a few feet and then detonate the explosives he was carrying, said sources.

The landrover in which Brigadier Wijeratne was travelling was only damaged on the left hand side. But the vehicle had been thrown forward almost 50 yards by the blast, said sources.

The remains of the bomber are lying in the mortuary of Pt. Pedro's Manthikai Hospital.

The mortuary with the remains inside was locked up by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for security reasons and the keys are in the Brigade HQ, said sources.

In the event there is another death in the hospital, the mortuary cannot be used, they said.


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