News in Brief:

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 May 1999, 15:12 GMT]
Muthur fishermen reported missing; Body found in Batticaloa and fishermen protest in Jaffna.

Muthur fishermen reported missing

Twenty Muslim fishermen from Muthur, 24 km. south of Trincomalee, who went fishing in 10 small boats in the Bay of Bengal, on Tuesday, have not returned home, said their family members.

The fishermen normally return in the evening, they said.

Sources said that as they were fishing in the 'no go zone' it could not be confirmed whether they had been detained by the Sri Lankan Navy or by the LTTE.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence said "the fishermen have been abducted by the Tigers, along with their boats".

Body found in Batticaloa

The body of Thaheer Hussein, 27, was found with gun shot wounds on his chest and head, on the shore at Kaththankudy yesterday.

Kaththankudy is a large Muslim town 6 km south of Batticaloa.

He had gone to meet his wife's relatives at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday but had not returned home.

Sources said that villagers had seen a Sri Lankan Army ambulance on Tuesday night in the area where the body was found.

Fishermen protest in Jaffna

Hundreds of fishermen from the Pashayoor, Colomboththurai and Gurunakar areas in Jaffna are staging a protest against the reduction of fishing territory in the Jaffna lagoon and Sri Lankan security forces assaults on fishermen.

Previously fishing had been limited to an area 2.5 miles out from the shore but it was reduced to 1 mile out from the shore yesterday.

The Sri Lankan Army said that fishing territory had been reduced to prevent fishermen having contacts with the Liberation Tigers.

They said that although white flags had been planted at the 2.5 mile limit fishermen had gone beyond this point to contact the Tigers.


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