Sri Lankan Troops Caught In Tiger Booby Traps

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COLOMBO – TamilNet reports that last weekend more than sixteen Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops lost their legs after being caught in booby traps at the Front Defence Line (FDL) positions in Pa’ndivirichchaan, Mu’l’likku’lam and Vi’laaththikku’lam in Mannaar district.

Mannaar LTTE Operations Command confirmed that the disabled troopers are members of the SLA Deep Penetration Unit and those deployed by SLA in the intermittent advance attempts to break into LTTE FDLs.

An SLA soldier was also injured in a grenade attack in Chengkaladi on Saturday.

This was after an unidentified person lobbed a hand grenade at around 8.15pm on a Sri Lanka Army (SLA) road clearance unit at Chengkaladi area in Ea’raavoor police division in Batticaloa district, seriously injuring a soldier.

The attacker had laid in ambush and hurled the grenade on the SLA unit.

The injured soldier was rushed to Pollanaruwa Base Hospital.

The SLA launched a search operation following the grenade attack.

Chengkaladi is located 15km north of Batticaloa town.

Meanwhile, Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi, former Sri Lankan Port Development Minister and Chief Co-ordinator of Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) Mahajana faction, a splinter group of SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLFP, was killed on Saturday at 1.40pm when his vehicle met with an accident at Madegama on the Anuradhapura Galgamuwa road, Police said.

The driver of the vehicle and two of his personal guards were also killed in the accident when his vehicle, while speeding, slipped off the road and crashed against a tree, according to initial reports.

Mr Sooriyaarachchi, a former naval officer turned lawyer and a close associate of former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga, has been a key player in challenging Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

Rajapaksa sacked him from his ministerial post exactly one-year ago, on this day.

Sooriyaarachchi’s driver and a bodyguard were also killed in the accident on the spot.

One of three others riding the same vehicle, succumbed to his injuries at Anuradhapura hospital, after being transferred from Tambuttegama hospital.

Sooriyaarachchi was on his way to Colombo after visiting Anuradhapura.

The other dead were identified as S.K.R.Silva, the driver, T.P.Samarasingha and Gunaratna.

Sooriyarachchi, 45, father of four, shifted from his Austin Place residence in Borella, Colombo to Kandane, after unknown attackers hurled firebombs at his residence in November.

Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi was on his way to Colombo from Anuradhapura when his vehicle slipped off the road.