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Tigers occupy Madhu Church, priests remove statue

Priests at the world renowned Madhu Church yesterday conveyed the Sacred Statue of Our Lady of Madhu to a safer place following a virtual takeover of the Church premises by the LTTE, reports from uncleared areas said.

According to reports, the LTTE had invaded the Church and installed mines and booby traps in the vicinity apparently to prevent an advance by Security Forces.

Earlier, the Tigers had chased away more than 150 civilians from the area.

The Tiger cadres who had forcibly entered the highly venerated Church had threatened the priests and forced them to leave. Four of the priests had then left the Church with the revered statue.

The Security Forces have strictly observed the No Fire Zone around Madhu Church in spite of Tiger provocations.

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