Hunt on for Yala Tigers
Park to open in a few days:
Troops continued a massive search operation inside the Yala National
Park with reinforcements arriving there yesterday morning in search of
LTTE cadres who had launched a surprise attack on an isolated Army
detachment in Thalgasmankada on Monday evening.
Out of the seven soldiers who were at the Army detachment, six were
killed in the LTTE attack on Monday evening. One soldier survived with
injuries, sources said.
However, the number of deaths increased to seven as the tractor
transporting the bodies of the soldiers was caught in a land mine
explosion last morning, just 300 to 600 metres away from the Army
Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told the Daily News
that one soldier was killed and five others injured in the land mine
Brigadier Nanayakkara said the bodies were flown to Hambantota
hospital for the post mortem while the injured were airlifted to the
Matara hospital."Battered LTTE cadres fleeing from Thoppigala would have
launched this desperate attack to convey the message about their
presence in the South," Brigadier Nanayakkara added.
Sources from the Yala National Park said Special Forces troops were
deployed to conduct the search operation. "We believe that nearly 20 to
25 cadres would have entered the park to launch this desperate attack
targeting the isolated Army detachment," military sources added.
Military sources ruled out any connection between the reopening of
the Yala national Park and this isolated incident. "This is just a
coincidence and is not connected to the opening of the Park," a senior
military official added.
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka told the Daily News
that though the Park was scheduled to open yesterday after a one month
vacation from September 15 the opening was postponed until the
completion of the search operation by the troops.
"We are quite confident that we will be able to open the Park to the
public within next few days after the Armed Forces provide a security
assurance," the Minister added. Minister Ranawaka also said that no Wild
Life staff or visitors at the camping sites were affected in the