News in Brief:

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 June 1999, 11:26 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Deputy Defence Minister Ratwatte visits forward areas of Operation Ranagosa, a time bomb explodes at a Valaichennai checkpoint and Amnesty International's officials to arrive in Jaffna today.

Ratwatte visits forward areas

The Sri Lankan Deputy Defence Minister, Gen. Anurudha Ratwatte visited the forward areas of Operation Ranagosa yesterday and discussed the situation with local commanders said the Sri Lankan state radio today.

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched 'Operation Ranagosa-4' on Friday and took control of Vidathaltheevu, about 20 km. north of Thallady, on the Mannar-Poonery road.

Meanwhile the Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio said in its morning transmission today that three Liberation Tigers, including a Lt. Col. died in a confrontation with the Sri Lanka Army at Siraddikulam in the Mannar district on Saturday, June 11.

Time bomb at sentry point

A time bomb exploded in a house at Vipulanantha road in Valaichenai, north of Batticaloa, last night around 11.45 p.m. where the Sri Lanka Army soldiers maintain a sentry point.

SLA sources said the bomb, which had been placed to target soldiers, had exploded in the night instead of daytime.

The sentry point is manned only during the daytime.

Amnesty officials to reach Jaffna today

The Secretary to the Presidential Commission on Disappearance, Mr.C.M.Iqbal said that two observers from the Amnesty International will be flown to Jaffna today in connection with the exhumation of the alleged mass graves at Chemmani.

The exhumation of the site is scheduled for Wednesday, June 16.

Mr.Iqbal will also accompany the observers from the Amnesty to begin the preliminary work.

Nearly 600 civilians arrested by the Sri Lankan Army in Jaffna are believed to have been killed and buried in shallow graves on the peninsula according to Amnesty International.

A former SLA soldier, Somaratne Rajapakse claims that up to 400 bodies of civilians killed by SLA troops are buried in Chemmani.


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