Two troopers killed in Sri Lanka attack

March 26th, 2008 - 3:21 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, March 26 (IANS) Giving a foretaste what might be in store for the Sri Lankan government forces in the run up to the May 10 Eastern provincial elections, the Tamil Tigers Wednesday killed two paramilitary personnel in a politically significant area in the east. Two men of the Special Task Force (STF) were killed and two injured in a claymore mine blast in the Kokkaddicholai area, which serves as the headquarters of the Tamil Makkal Vidhuthalai Puligal (TMVP), a group which had broken away from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in March 2004 and joined the Sri Lankan government side.

Previously, Kokkaddicholai was the headquarters of the Tamil Tigers in Batticaloa district.

The attack by the deep penetration unit of the LTTE came in the wake of reports that the STF would be replaced by the regular Sri Lankan army in Amparai district, which is to the south of Batticaloa.

The TMVP, which is in alliance with the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had swept the controversial Batticaloa district local bodies elections earlier this month.

Its rivals alleged that the polls were not free and fair, as the main opposition parties had been intimidated into either withdrawing from the contest, or campaigning on a low key.

The Tamil Tiger rebels were driven out of the eastern province in mid 2007. But for some time now, they have been stepping up their campaigns in southern Sri Lanka to divert the attention of the Sri Lankan forces, which are putting pressure on them in the northern Mannar sector.

Tiger snipers and bombers have been targeting Sri Lankan troops and civilians in the Buttala and Kataragama areas. Kanjikudicharu and Akkaraiputtu in Amparai district have also been attacked.

Apparently in reaction to the attack on the STF in Kokkadicholai in the morning, the Sri Lankan Air Force Wednesday took on targets in the Giant Tank area in Mannar district, destroying some rebel facilities and attacked a boat building yard in the eastern district of Mullaitivu.

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