Six hurt in clash

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 1999, 16:12 GMT]
A member of the PLOTE, a Tamil para-military group working with the SLA, and a soldier were seriously wounded when a group of Liberation Tigers opened fire on them this afternoon around 12.55 p.m. at Thoonadi, 6.5 kilometres Southwest of Batticaloa. The Tigers has come in a tractor said sources.

The PLOTE mans a checkpoint by a tree, about 200 meters ahead of the Vavunathivu SLA camp which stands on the eastern edge of Batticaloa's hinterland by the western entrance of the Valaiyiravu bridge and causeway which lead to the town.

PLOTE cadres and soldiers sometimes move up to the Pradeshiya Sabha office near the Thoonadi junction which is about 450 meters from the Vavunathivu camp.

The PLOTE checkpoint by the tree is, technically, the 'border mark' between the LTTE controlled hinterland and the SLA controlled areas in this part of the Batticaloa district.

The PLOTE levies a tax in kind from farmers bringing rice from the hinterland to the town at this 'tree point'.

The Tigers today fired on a group of PLOTE cadres and soldiers who had moved ahead to Thoonadi.

Civilians at the spot this afternoon said that the soldiers and the PLOTE cadres had run back to the 'tree point' with the wounded persons and had fired in the direction of Thoonadi around 1.30 p.m, having safely taken up position in their bunkers, according to evidence recorded by the Police this afternoon from the wounded PLOTE cadre.

Four civilians who were scrambling for safety at Thoonadi were wounded in the firing from the 'tree point'.

The TamilNet's Batticaloa correspondent spoke to them at the Batticaloa hospital this afternoon. He said the condition of one, Velaapody Vethanayakam, 25, according to doctors, is serious as a bullet had ripped through his liver.

The others are: Kanapathipillai Saamithamby, 60 Maamaangam Sivarajah, 43, Kandan Puvenendran, 35.

The wounded PLOTE cadre is Gnani alias Ramesh,25, and the soldier, according to the Police, is Chandrasekera,25.

Traffic through this key entry point from the hinterlands to Batticaloa town was disrupted for more than hour by the shooting.

 

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