Nervous Mannar troops run amok

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
A shop was destroyed and civilians were beaten up by Sri Lankan soldiers who ran berserk in Mannar town this morning. The incident started around 11.30 a.m. today when a soldier's gun went off by accident in one corner of the town.

SLA troops which were in another part of the Mannar town thought that the LTTE had entered the town and was firing at their colleagues.

Angered, they assaulted civilians who were shopping and doing business in the area. They also smashed up a shop in the vicinity of their bunkers.

SLA troops in the Mannar island have become a nervous and jumpy lot as a consequence of frequent attacks carried out by the Liberation Tigers in the well defended Mannar town and its environs.

The incidents had reached such alarming proportions that the Mannar SLA command decided recently to seal off all the roads, lanes and by lanes which give access to town, except two routes, to check the activity of the Liberation Tigers in the area.

The public were not happy with the army's plan for the great inconvenience it could cause to business and travel.

The LTTE enters the Mannar island where the town is situated at will from the mainland promontory of Vidathalthivu to stage attacks as well as buy supplies - usually from army officials who mint millions on selling fuel to the LTTE through middlemen in the town.


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