Tigers fire at bus killing four
LTTE targets Kataragama festival pilgrims :
KATARAGAMA: Four people including a mother and a son and two
other females were killed and 25 others sustained injuries yesterday as
LTTE cadres hiding in the Yala National Park opened fire at a Sri Lanka
Transport Board bus plying from Moneragala to Kataragama.
The incident took place between 50 and 51 Kilometre posts on the
Buttala - Kataragama road yesterday around 10.30 a.m.
Nine-year-old Mahesh and his mother Karunawathie travelling to
Kataragama along with his two brothers and father were killed in this
shooting. The five member family from Puwakgoda area was travelling to
Kataragama to attend the Kataragama festival.
According to Kataragama Police, Tiger cadres have opened fire at the
bus from the front and later from various directions when it slowed down
due to fire as it had passed the 49th Kilometre post on the
Buttala-Kataragama road after nearly half a kilometre past the fourth
Police Post close to Galge camp.
The incident had taken place just 10 kilometres away from Kataragama
Several Police posts have been established along the Buttala
Kataragama road following the recent incidents in and around Yala
National Park. The Army is patrolling the jungle area.
According to Kataragama Police the driver had accelerated the bus
despite the minor injuries caused to him from the shooting and arrived
at Kataragama once he felt that the bus was under fire and passengers
have been injured.
“The injured people were admitted to the Kataragama hospital soon
after the bus arrived in Kataragama. Out of 25 injured four people have
been discharged after being treated at the hospital,” Military Spokesman
Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told the Daily News.
The CTB bus from the Moneragala depot which was plying between
Colombo and Moneragala has been extended upto Kataragama to facilitate
pilgrims attending the Kataragama festival held from July 3 to 17. “This
is a cowardly attack by the LTTE to disturb the ongoing Kataragama
festival which has witnessed the participation of a large number of
people,” the Brigadier added.
A combined cordon and search operation was launched in the area soon
after the incident by the Army and the Police.