Curfew reimposed after grenade attack kills civilian

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 April 2003, 16:06 GMT]
A Tamil civilian was killed and seven others were injured in a grenade attack on Friday afternoon near Kattaiparichchan bridge which separates army controlled and Liberation Tigers controlled area in Muttur east, police sources said. The curfew lifted Friday has been reimposed Friday afternoon immediately after the grenade attack.

The Defence Minister Mr.Tilak Marapone was presiding a conference regarding the disturbances in Muttur town and its suburbs when attack took place 100 yards away from the Kattaiparichchan army camp where the conference was being held.

This incident took place when sections of Muslims and Tamils clashed face to face while the conference was on, police sources said. The conference was held to diffuse the tension, which prevailed in Muttur following the alleged abduction of two Muslim youths few days ago. Muslims accuse LTTE is behind the abduction. But the LTTE has categorically denied its involvement.

The Defence Minister immediately instructed heads of armed forces and Police to take stern steps against troublemakers and to bring the situation under control, sources said.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians Mr.R.Sampanthan and Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister Mr.Rauff Hakim with his parliamentarians attended the conference. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Chairman of the United National Party (UNP) Mr.Malik Samarawickrema, the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Lionel Balagalle, The commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Rear Admiral Daya Sandagiri and the Inspector General of Police Mr.T.E.Anandarajah were present at the conference which discussed in detail the security arrangements to be taken to control violence in the Muttur town, sources said.

The acting head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Trincomalee Mr.Abdel Furkhan attended the conference, sources said.

It was decided at the conference to deploy more government troops, police personnel and navy men to strengthen the security of Muttur, sources said.

Due to the clashes and arson incidents, hundreds of Tamil and Muslim families in Muttur, Thoppur and Palathoppur have been rendered homeless and more than two thousand people from both communities have sought refuge in churches and mosques and other welfare centres, sources said.

 

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