SLA fire kills 5 Muslim civilians
| Date: 19981209
Five Muslim loggers were shot dead near the Punanai Sri Lankan Army (SLA) camp, about 52 kilometers northwest of Batticaloa, last night around 9 a.m. One person was wounded and two were reported missing but was later found to be in the custody of the army in Punanai.
The loggers are from the Muslim town of Ottamavadi, 34 kilometers north of Batticaloa, close to Valaichenai.
Sources said that they were involved in illicit logging in the jungles south of Punanai and were returning with the timber loaded on bullock carts when they were caught in an ambush by the SLA near the camp.
The wounded person was brought to the Valaichenai hospital by the SLA.
Meanwhile, a civilian was wounded when the Police opened fire indiscriminately last night around 7.15 p.m. in Palameenmadu on the outskirts of Batticaloa town.
Unidentified youth had lobbed a grenade at the Police post in the area, wounding I.M Sarathchandra, a reserve Police constable on duty.
The Police had indiscriminately fired in the crowded neighbourhood.
A person identified as Gunathaas Sutharsan, 31, was wounded in the Police fire.