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Tiger acts of provocation continue in NE

Suspected Tamil Tigers continued its acts of provocation against the Security Forces and Policemen in the North and East yesterday too exploding claymore mines and carrying out hand grenade attacks injuring 18 policemen and critically injuring two soldiers in Pesalai and Batticaloa, military sources said.

Two claymore mines were exploded yesterday morning in Batticaloa and Vavuniya targeting Army personnel and Policemen on road patrol.

Two soldiers were seriously injured when suspected LTTE cadres exploded a claymore mine and went on firing at them at Chenkalady, Vandaramulla at around 7.15 am.

The group of soldiers were returning to their duty post near the University at Chenkalady, Vandaramulla when the claymore mine was set off, military sources added. The injured soldiers were admitted to the Valachchenai hospital and were due to be evacuated to the Polonnaruwa Base hospital or Colombo as their condition worsened last afternoon.

Eighteen Policemen were also injured when suspected LTTE cadres lobbed a grenade at the Police training centre in Pesalai on the Thalaimannar - Mannar road around 7.20 pm last evening, Police sources added.

Policemen, returning to their roadblock guard point after conducting a route clearing patrol also came under another claymore mine attack at Variputtu, on the Vavuniya - Mannar road around 7 am.

The Policemen who escaped unhurt in the mine blast recovered one live hand grenade, the cord used for the claymore mine attack and a pair of slippers belonging to the suspects who triggered off the mine, after a cordon and search operation in the area.

In another incident around 60 Policemen proceeding to Batticaloa in a bus on Sunday evening narrowly escaped another claymore mine blast at Sandiveli, Sittandy when suspected LTTE cadres exploded another claymore mine aimed at the passing bus.

The claymore mine, set for the bus carrying policemen exploded with a huge blast, seconds after the bus (63 - 3182) passed the location, but the shrapnel of the claymore mine slightly damaged the speeding bus.

Troops, assisted by policemen immediately launched a search operation in the area and recovered a detonator cord of about 250 m in length from an abandoned house, situated close to the main road.

Meanwhile Ananda Pathiraja from Anuradhapura reports that 18 soldiers were injured when an army bus transporting soldiers from Colombo to Mannar veered off the road and hit a palmyra tree at Mahasiyambalagaswewa near Sittukukulama in Medawachychiya yesterday evening.

The Army bus which commenced its journey from Colombo were picking up soldiers on vacation who were leaving for the North, on the way. The incident occurred at around 4.30 pm.

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