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TWENTY ONE LTTE CADRES KILLED IN THE EAST BY THE KARUNA FACTION AND THE ARMY; ONE POW RESCUED

By Walter Jayawardhana

Twenty one LTTE cadres died at the hands of Karuna Faction and the Sri Lanka Army probably in two incidents but the LTTE alleged that the assaults have been done in a joint operation by the Sri Lanka Army and karuna faction.

Asad Moulana , spokesman for the karuna faction, or Thamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) told the BBC’s Tamil service “Thamil osai” that their troops in an attack conducted in defense shot down 15 LTTE cadres and handed over 12 child soldiers rescued who were in the custody of the LTTE to the police to be handed over to the UNICEF.

Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe spokesman for the army told the Sinhala service of the BBC, Sandeshaya that in an attack conducted between Miyankulam and Punani railway station they were able to rescue Seargent Ratnayaka of the Army, a POW and kill five LTTE cadres. He said they were going from the besieged Vakarai to somewhere near Batticaloa like Thoppigala. Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said immediately the rescued soldier who was injured was admitted to the Polonnaruwa hospital.

But Rasiah Ilantheriyan LTTE spokesman said the assaults were done jointly and they had attacked a medical team who were taking some injured soldiers from Vakarai to another area controlled by the LTTE. Giving an explanation of the 12 young boys handed over the police Ilantheriyan said they were civilians who sought the assistance of the LTTE to flee from the ravages of war.

Karuna spokesman, Asad Moulana said the clash that occurred 10.30 p.m. December 14 at Madurankuli in the Batticaloa District 15 LTTE cadres were killed. The 12 child soldiers rescued were handed over to the police so that they could be given over to the UNICEF.
Meanwhile the bodies of six LTTE cadres killed by the Army were handed over to the Valachchenai hospital for post moretem examinations.

Those who were claimed to be killed by the karuna faction were handed over to the international Red Cross at the political office of the karuna faction at Meenagam, police reports said. The children were also handed over in the presence of UNICEF representatives at the same office.
In addition to those killed five more people have been injured and admitted to the Batticaloa hospital , the karuna faction said.

Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe completely rejected the notion the attack was conducted jointly with the Karuna faction. He said he had no knowledge about any child soldiers rescued and handed over to the Police and UNICEF.

Samarasinghe said there is no necessity for them to take any assistance from a breakaway group of the LTTE or get involved in the internecine warfare.


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