- A MERE SHOW
- HAD 250 T 56 WEAPONS
Police and security forces would launch a joint military operation to track down arms and ammunition in the hands of the jihadist groups in the East, police announced after the extended deadline given for the hand over of the weapons lapsed last evening.
Eastern Province DIG Edison Gunathilake told LAKBIMAnEWS that the response by the Muslim armed groups in the East to the government’s call to hand over weapons was poor, and only a fraction of the weapons held by the militants had been given.
Among the inventory of weapons handed over are: 16 T 56 assault rifles, one T 81 sub machine gun, four 303 rifles, two sub machine guns, one shot gun, one 9mm pistol, 16 hand grenades and a large cache of ammunition.
DIG Gunathilake said intelligence reports reveal that jihadist militants posses 250 T 56 assault rifles, a fraction of which had been handed over by the time the dead line expired.
The weapons were handed over by jihadist groups last evening in a mosque in Kattankuddy, in an event presided over by Muslim religious dignitaries.
The deadline, which was initially set for July 2 was extended to July 4 on the request of the Muslim community leaders.
The long contested issue of the armed Muslim groups came into focus last month after the arrest of seven hardcore jihadi militants along with a cache of arms and ammunition including seven T 56 weapons, sub machine guns, and anti personal mines.
The Defence Ministry offered a public amnesty to the jihadi militants and ordered them to hand over weapons by July 2, later extended to July 4.