3RD LEAD (Adds corrections)

Civilian, 6 combatants killed in Mannaar clashes

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 November 2007, 08:28 GMT]
A young mother was killed when Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and Special Task Force (STF) commandos in Murungkan, opened fire from their positions around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The SLA and the LTTE engaged in offensive operations at two different positions. At least three FDL positions of the Sri Lankan forces were destroyed. The SLA has suffered heavy casualties. Military sources put their casualty figures at 3 killed and 32 wounded. Meanwhile, Murungkan Police has handed over 3 dead bodies of LTTE female cadres to Mannaar hospital.

Surendini Imanuel
Surendini Imanuel, 33, mother of two
The civilian victim, Surendini Imanuel, 33, mother of two, was killed at Aaththikkuzhi in Murungkan, when the SLA soldiers who were rushing their casualties to Vangkaalai helicopter landing pad, opened fire at cows sleeping on their way blocking the ambulances, residents said.

All the SLA and STF troopers, heavily deployed along the Mannnaar Madawaachi road in recent days, had opened fire from their positions in Murungkan area, Police sources said alluding that the Tigers had launched a preemptive strike as the Sri Lankan troops were readying for a ground offensive following an intensive artillery attack.

Mannaar district magistrate T.J. Prabakaran inspecting the dead bodies brought to the hospital.
Heavy shelling from the Sri Lankan forces in Murungkan, Uyilangku'lam, Vangkaalai, South Bar and Tha'l'laadi installations, launched around 5:30 a.m. lasted till 12:30 p.m.

The road used to transport the wounded Sri Lankan soldiers to the Helicopter landing pad at Vangkaalai remained blocked for public access.



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