Curfew in Batti as troops hunt for killers

By Chris Kamalendran

A dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed throughout the Batticaloa district yesterday as thousands of security forces personnel began a massive hunt for suspected LTTE infiltrators or other groups allegedly responsible for a spate of killings that have rocked the area over the past few days.

The district’s police chief, Edison Gunatilleke, told The Sunday Times the search was concentrated largely on LTTE militants and others who were reportedly active in the area and suspected to be behind the recent wave of violence. He said they were also hunting for possible safe-houses where these militants might be holed up and the search was taken to every village.

“At present we do not know who are behind the killings. It could be the LTTE, other militants or some one else with vested interests,” DIG Gunatilleke said. “We will look into every aspect and get to the bottom of all this,” he vowed.At least 25 have been killed in the past 10 days by unidentified assailants who target their victims mainly after dusk.

Among the victims were four members of a single family, a retired policeman, a former village headman, a Hindu priest and a driver working for a Norwegian NGO.

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