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 Post subject: Karuna cadres killed in Polonnaruwa
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:52 pm 
Karuna cadres killed in Polonnaruwa
Tamil Tigers have denied any involvement in the attack

BBC / 15APR2005

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have killed five members of renegade rebel leader Karuna faction, police said. Police in Aralaganwila, near Welikanda, said two others were injured in the pre- dawn attack on a camp in Soriwila.

Police added that about 20 Karuna loyalists were residing in five camps in the jungle hideout.

Journalist Raj Weerasinghe who visited the scene in Pudueli Allai said the injured and the bodies have now been taken to Polonnaruwa hospital.

Deceased identified

The deceased are identified as Devadas Devendran, James Kandasamy, Wijayan, Ravi and Devendran.

The injured, Kanapathipillai Yogarah and Sinnathambi Mahendran refused to speak to journalists, Raj Weerasinghe told BBC Sandeshaya (Sinhala service).

Pollonnaruwa additional magistrate Chandanie Meegoda ordered the police to conduct investigations.

Giving evidence before the magistrate three survivors described the attack occurred around 2000-2100 GMT (0100-0200 SLT) on Thursday night.

Survivors

There was tension in the area since Karuna defected from the LTTE

Attackers raided the camps and started shooting indiscriminately, the survivors said.

Survivors said they couldn’t identify the attackers.

Tamil Tigers, for their part, have denied any involvement in the attack.

A spokesman for LTTE’s Batticaloa- Ampara political wing said the attack may have been a result of a dispute between ENDLF and the Karuna faction.

'Government responsible'

The government should be responsible for the attack as it happened in the government-controlled area, LTTE spokesman added.

There has been tension in eastern Sri Lanka since former Batticaloa-Ampara senior leader Karuna defected from the LTTE with thousands of cadres in March 2004.

Karuna, former military strategist and a close ally of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, went into hiding after Wanni Tigers crushed the rebellion within weeks in April 2004.

LTTE since then constantly accused Sri Lanka security forces of helping renegade rebels, a charge that military officials deny.

Tension intensified in Welikanda area after Tigers were accused of attacking another hideout of Karuna loyalists in March 2005.

They were also accused of killing eight Karuna loyalists in an attack to a Colombo safehouse in July.

The LTTE admitted killing Karuna’s brother Reggie and was accused of killing many Karuna supporters since then.


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