6 youths die in firefight with SLN in Velanai

[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 April 2007, 14:56 GMT]
Six youths were killed in a firefight with the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. during a cordon and search operation in Velani in the islets of Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. The incident occured close to the Mudippillaiyar Temple in Velanai west.

The cordon and search operation was conducted Sunday morning following the attack by armed youth Saturday in which a commander of the SLN was killed.

Sri Lanka armed forces barred public from entering or leaving Jaffna Islets from Sunday morning until late evening, residents there said. People were returned at Allaipiddy and Pannai Bridge, according to sources in Jaffna.

Sri Lanka Military spokesperson said the attackers used the temples sculptured towers as cover to mount the attack when they were killed.

Although the SLN did not reveal details of casualties and injuries suffered by its troopers, sources said helicopters were used in transporting the SLN dead and the wounded to the Palaali military hospital.

Kayts police brought the bodies of the youth to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. The bodies have not been identified yet. One of the bodies may also belong to the temple priest, sources speculated.

Jaffna Assistant Judge M. Thirunavukkarasu conducted preliminary inquiries and will continue the inquest Monday.



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