B. Muralidhar Reddy

"Tigers have suffered heavy damage"

COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) on Tuesday claimed to have inflicted "heavy damage" when it bombed a targeted Tiger base at south of Morawewa in Trincomalee in the east.

A statement by the SLAF said its MI-24 gun ships raided an identified LTTE gathering point at south of Morawewa in the morning. "Defence sources confirmed that the LTTE terrorists suffered heavy damage due to the air strike carried out at 8 a.m. based on the intelligence reports of a LTTE build up in the south of Morawewa area."

Injured in blast

The military said the LTTE also attacked troops in the Kadawana area in Trincomalee. The security forces retaliated, "inflicting heavy damage" to the Tigers.

Separately, in the national capital, over a dozen persons were injured in an accidental explosion at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) premises in the afternoon.

The Defence Ministry said that anti-personnel mine used for a demonstration exploded accidentally inside the Special Task Force (STF) stall at the exhibition in the BMICH.

Seventeen persons who received injuries were rushed to hospital.

Two Buddhist priests, 13 civilians and two STF personnel are among the victims.

In another development, three activists of the Sri Lanka Railway trade union and its publication "Akuna" were reported abducted on Monday.

The Free Media Movement (FMM) in a statement said it is disturbed to receive complaints that the publisher of the newspaper M. A. Sisira Priyankara (38), lay-out designer M. L. Senaviratna (35) and another activist Nihal Serasinghe (40) were abducted from suburbs of Colombo.