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Archive for April 1st, 2008

The Sri Lanka Army overran another LTTE strong point in the south of Madhu. The location was used as a command post and mortar base and was under the LTTE Madhu south area leader.

The Tigers had withdrawn their 82mm mortar launchers positioned in the base but had left behind the remains of their dead cadres. Commands given by senior LTTE cadres over radio to return to the base and defend it against the Army were met with stiff resistance by the cadres.

(Defensewire)

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Health officials take speedy action

A new crisis has erupted in the northern war zone with a virtual epidemic of dengue and chikungunya viral fever among troops due to the heavy rains and resultant floods, officials said. Military spokesperson Udaya Nanayakkara said urgent measures had been taken to check the epidemic, while other officials disclosed that about 500 troops affected by the viral flu were being treated at hospitals in the Anuradhapura district.

Provincial Health Director Dr. W. Atapattu said the health crisis had arisen one month ago and the victims were being treated at the Anuradhapura, Padaviya and Sampathnuwara hospitals. Dr. Atapattu also said health education and viral flu prevention activities were conducted in the affected areas and mosquito nets being widely distributed.

Other steps are also being taken to check and destroy mosquito breeding sites. An official said the dengue or chikungunya mosquitoes were breeding in various places including discarded cases of shells used in the war.

Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Sarath Weerabandara said the outbreak began when unexpected heavy rains hit the area including the war zones. He said blood samples sent to the Medical Research Institute had confirmed that the virus was largely chikungunya.

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A Sri Lankan army soldier in the north-eastern region of the island on March 27. A series of clashes over the weekend left at least 39 separatists and three soldiers dead, the defence ministry said on Monday.

A series of clashes over the weekend between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels left at least 39 separatists and three soldiers dead, the defence ministry said Monday.

Government troops shot dead the rebels in the north during two days of fighting that ended Sunday, the ministry said, adding 15 soldiers were injured.

There was no immediate comment from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), whose armed struggle for an independent state for minority Tamils in the island’s north and east have left tens of thousands dead since 1972.

At least 2,456 rebels have been killed by security forces since January, while 150 government soldiers have died in action in the same period, according to defence ministry figures.

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A Sri Lankan man reads a poster calling for the surrender of would-be rebel suicide bombers in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, March 31, 2008. The Sri Lankan government is offering would-be rebel suicide bombers nearly US$100,000 and a new life abroad to surrender themselves to authorities, the government said Monday.

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Two Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians narrowly escaped a claymore mine blast in an LTTE-held area close to Kilinochchi, one of the MPs said yesterday.

An LTTE cadre was killed in the blast on Thursday and two others were injured as their vehicle — a white jeep similar to the one in which parliamentarians Selvam Adaikalanathan (Wanni district) and K. Sivanesan (Jaffna district) were travelling — was caught in the explosion on the A9 highway in the Old Murukandy area, 12 kilometres south of Kilinochchi.

“We believe that we were the target as our vehicle was similar to the ill-fated jeep. We escaped because we started our journey late,” Mr. Adaikalanathan told The Sunday Times after he reached his Mannar residence yesterday.

“When we arrived at the scene of the blast we saw the burning jeep and the body of the LTTE cadre on the side of the road while the injured were being removed to hospital,” he said. Soon after the blast, members of LTTE’s ‘border force’ and ‘police’ conducted a search operation but failed to detect any of the persons responsible for the attack, he said.

An LTTE spokesman yesterday, however, down played the incident, claiming that it was a road accident in which one of its cadres was killed.

The incident, near the famous Ganesh temple in Murukandy where travellers usually stop to pay homage, occurred a week after a director of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and his driver were killed in a similar claymore mine attack in Periyamadu. Earlier an Education officer was also killed in a similar attack. The LTTE has blamed the army’s deep penetration unit for the attacks.

(Sunday Times)

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