3RD LEAD (Added details)

4 killed, 34 wounded in Claymore attack in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 January 2006, 15:34 GMT]
Three police constables and a sixteen-year old boy were killed and 17 Sri Lanka Army soldiers, 9 policemen and 8 civilians, including a woman, were wounded in a Claymore attack at Thandavanveli in Batticaloa town around 4:55 p.m. Thursday, police said. Two vehicles, an SLA truck and a bus, carrying soldiers and policemen for a clearing operation were caught in the explosion. The wounded soldiers were airlifted to Polonnaruwa and Colombo hospitals. Around 20 T-56 rifles and ammunitions, blown away from the hands of the troopers in the powerful explosion, were recovered by the SLA soldiers who rushed to the site following the attack. Tension prevails in Batticaloa town.

Police sources said they suspected two different sources of explosion, an anti-personnel Claymore mine attached to a tree and a bomb placed along the roadside, but said it was early to conclude that there was a combined attack involving two explosives.

The attack took place on Batticaloa - Valaichenai Road near the CTB Bus depot at Thandavanveli in Batticaloa town.

The three policemen killed in the explosion were identified as A.L. Gaffor, W.Wijeyakoon and M. Peter.

The civilian killed in the blast was identified as Thivakaran Kathamuthu, 16, a resident of Kommanthurai, Eravur.

Viyadevi, Roshalin, Pujenthiran, Sinnampu, Kamalathasan and Gajendra were the civilians wounded in the explosion.

Additional troops and policemen, who rushed to the site, were conducting a cordon and search operation in the area.


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