Four attackers commit suicide

[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 March 2000, 07:56 GMT]
Four gunmen, suspected to be members of the Liberation Tigers who had taken up positions in apartment building near the scene of the fighting in Colombo yesterday committed suicide as the Sri Lankan army special forces broke into the building this morning after several hours of fighting Police sources said.

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Sri Lankan policemen guard an apartment complex in the capital Colombo on March 11 where four suspected LTTE members committed suicide to avoid arrest by the security forces.(Photo:Reuters)
The attackers held the army at bay by firing at SLA commandos who had attempted to enter the building. Four soldiers were wounded in the fire fight Police sources said. They said that the gunmen may have decided to take their lives after running out of ammunition.

The attackers had also fired rocket propelled grenades at the SLA troops that had surrounded the building.

The gunmen had fired their way out of the scene of the battle on the road to the Sri Lankan Parliament yesterday had entered the Serpentine Flats in Wanattamulla, a shanty town near Borella.

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Residents watch the site where four gunmen, suspected to be members of the Liberation Tigers, killed themselves shortly before the SLA commandos were about to begin an assault to arrest them Saturday, March 11, 2000.(EDITORS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT, Photo:AP)
Two gunmen blew themselves up at the scene of the fire fight last evening. Police said that the four who got away may have also been wearing specially designed suicide jackets packed with explosives.

The SLA cordoned off the area and evacuated the building of all civilians. A Police Headquarters source in Colombo said that indications last night that the attackers had taken hostages were not correct.

He said that investigations are on as to how a group of six could have got to the high security road to the Sri Lankan Parliament armed with two disposable rocket propelled grenades, assault rifles, grenades and a sufficient ammunition for a pitched battle without being noticed by the security personnel deployed at many points there.

 

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