Man injured in Manalkaadu landmine explosion

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 January 2004, 17:14 GMT]
A man lost his left leg when a landmine exploded Monday around 10.30 a.m. in the general area of Manalkaadu. Mr. Maaribas Asokananda, 24, father of two children, was returning with four of his colleagues after chopping firewood in the Kandalkaadu area of Manalkaadu when he stepped on the landmine, relatives said. Residents of Manalkaadu lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission office in Jaffna last month that the Sri Lanka army had laid a new mine field on the outskirts of the village. SLA denies that it ever planted mines in the area.

UNDP de-mining division sources too concur with the SLA, claiming that no minefield was newly laid in Manalkaadu.

However, the villagers continue to insist that they saw the military laying mines and show cattle that were injured in explosions in the area where they say land mines were laid in Manalkaadu.

Mr. Asokananda is a resident of Thunnalai East who ekes out a living by chopping firewood, relatives said.

He has been admitted to the Pt. Pedro Base Hospital.


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