Police officer's rifle snatched

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Suspected members of the Liberation Tigers grabbed an assault rifle from a Sri Lankan Police officer and made good their escape in the heart of Mannar town- a high security zone- this morning. The incident took place near the Mannar stadium.

The Police officer, a sub-inspector, was standing with some of his men near the stadium when a youth had grabbed his gun and run away. The Sri Lankan Army and police launched a cordon and search operation in the town soon after the incident.

No one had been taken in until noon said sources in Mannar. The army and Police say that the LTTE has heavily infiltrated the Mannar town from the mainland which is largely under the control of the organisation.

Despite regular cordon and search operations in the town and its environs, the LTTE is able to conduct its business in the town say ex-Tamil militant sources who operate there.

The Police say that the Liberation Tigers buy supplies from the town which is located in the southern edge of the island of Mannar and take it across the sea to coastal points like Vidaththaltheevu on the mainland.

They complain that the situation cannot be brought under control as the army is also involved in the smuggling of banned items to the LTTE controlled mainland by sea.


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