13 injured in attacks by Islamic extremists

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 June 2002, 14:56 GMT]
Thirteen Tamil civilians were wounded and one killed in attacks by armed persons suspected to be members of an extremist Islamic group in Valaichenai, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa Thursday. Islamic extremists wounded four Tamils, one seriously, in a grenade attack in the morning and killed one and wounded nine hours after the Police clamped curfew Thursday afternoon to quell the violence. Ten Tamil women were abducted by the extremists in Oddamaavadi near Valaichenai, sources said.

"Those who are determined to prevent us from realising our legitimate rights through the peace process are systematically instigating armed Islamic extremists to attack Tamils and create general violence in the east", said Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Tamil National Alliance MP for Batticaloa.

The Islamic extremist group attacked a ten year old boy with Machetes in Karuvaakerni, a Tamil village near Valaichenai, wounding him seriously. A Tamilhouse behind the Valaichenai bazaar was set on fire by the Islamic group. A large number of Tamil families in that neighbourhood have sought refuge in the interior to escape the attacks, sources said.

Muslims in Eravur stoned the ambulance in which the boy was rushed to Batticaloa.

Muslims stoned another ambulance in Kattankudi, 5 kilometres south of Batticaloa and attacked three Tamil owned buses in Ottamavadi Thursday morning. Six shops were burnt in the Valaichenai town bazaar.

Meanwhile, the Liberation Tigers in Batticaloa issues a leaflet Thursday afternoon urging Tamils not to react to provocations by the Muslim extremists and to remain calm. The LTTE leaflet said that the attacks are the work of armed thugs in Muslim areas and that therefore Tamils should do nothing to harm the interests of innocent Muslims in the east.

Police clamped curfew in Valaichenai and surrounding areas from 6 p.m. Thursday.

"It is quite apparent that armed Islamic extremists in the east are being instigated against Tamils. Sections of the Sri Lankan security forces and intelligence organisations have deployed this divide and rule tactic in the east many times in the past. The aim is to scuttle the peace process and to confound the central political issues in the east coast," said Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham.


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