Civilians killed in cross-fire

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 September 1998, 17:04 GMT]
Two civilians were killed and three were wounded when the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) in Vakarai opened fire with mortars and machine guns in the direction of Kandalady this morning around 7.30 a.m. Kandalady is a settlement that forms the northern part of the Vakarai village, 59 kilometers north of Batticaloa.

Sources said that an SLA unit which was returning from the limited operation that was launched yesterday was ambushed by the Liberation Tigers.

Two soldiers were wounded and one member of the Liberation Tigers was killed in the confrontation.

The covering fire called up from the main camp by the ambushed SLA unit had hit the houses of civilians in Kandalady.

The wounded civilians were despatched by the army to the Batticaloa hospital. Krishnapillai Navaratnam, 37 and his daughter Jeyalatha, 11 of Kandalady were wounded and his wife Sivalingam Sarojathevi, 36 was killed. A neighbour, Vadivel Thayalini 28 was also injured.

The Vaakarai village where the army is encamped consists of the three Grama Sevaka divisions of Kandalady, Puliyankandaladi and Vaakarai.

The whole population abandoned the village when the army recaptured it in June this year. About 245 families returned recently to their homes in Kandalady and Puliyankandalady.


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