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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2956

More civilians were injured than military personnel by the Tamil Tiger suicide attacks in Galle

By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo, 19 October, ( Galle’s Karapitiya hospital sources said that the suicide attacks of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at the Dakshina Lanka Naval base at Galle killed two people and has injured 19 civilians and 13 Sri Lanka Navy sailors.

Out of the two who died one was a civilian who got a heart attack due to the shock of an explosion and the other one was a navy sailor hospital authorities said.

The same authorities said two of the injured were subjected to surgery as their condition was serious and they are now recovering after the surgical operations.

Military authorities said that the security of the area has now been brought under control.

The attacks at Habarana and Galle have been timed to coincide the visits of US Asst. Secretary Boucher and Japanese peace envoy Akashi analysts in Colombo said.

Chief Minister of Galle, Shan Wijelal de Silva said that the LTTE might have planned a bigger attack by their suicide units but have achieved only the minimum due to the defense of the Naval forces.

Originally five crafts of the suicide bombers came slowly to the checking point of fishing craft. Suddenly one suicide bomber boat exploded them while the others suddenly dashed into the harbor. One of the crafts was rammed against an anchored old ship of the navy and the ship caught fire.

The other three boats were destroyed by the navy military sources said.

Injured sailors said before the boats were destroyed they started shooting from the boats felling 14 navy men killing one and injuring the rest.

Making use of the pandemonium mobs also started attacking the Tamil owned jewellery shops in the Kamuela area but police opened fire to disperse the rioters injuring many. While the mob attacked the Tamil shops in Kamuela some Sinhalese shops were attacked. Vinitha Ranga Edirisinghe said her shop was also attacked by the mob.

Keheliya Rambukwella said in retaliation the government would attack selected LTTE camps .

Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake said the Navy successfully repelled the suicide attack by the terrorists on the Galle Naval Base in the Harbor. Briefly touching the backdrop, the Commander explained that "though strict security measures are imposed, it is not done at the expense of the many fishermen operating in the area. Every fishing boat is issued a pass, which is checked at the harbor entry. It is with such a boat cluster, the terrorist tried to gain entry to the harbor."

Phtographs Courtesy - Salitha Dissanayake

- Asian Tribune -

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