Mystery blast inside LTTE Mannar
By Chris Kamalendran
A dawn incident in the LTTE-dominated Adampan area in Mannar, two days ahead of Norway’s efforts to revive the peace efforts, has sparked off a fresh controversy between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Armed forces installations and police stations in government-controlled areas heard a loud explosion at dawn yesterday, said Inspector Upula Seneviratne, Officer in Charge of the police station at Murunkan, 18 km from Adampan. “It was so loud the entire ground shook”. An army officer in Mannar said “I could easily feel everything shake”.

Independent reports suggested an LTTE convoy had been ambushed.
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Chief Hagrup Haukland told The Sunday Times that he made inquiries from the local LTTE leaders in Mannar and the leadership in Wanni about the incident.

“The LTTE in the Wanni said they believed it was an explosion caused during a celebration, but its Mannar cadres said it was a training exercise,” he said.
The LTTE reportedly told the SLMM “not to bother investigating”.

In Colombo rumours spread that LTTE political wing leader S.P.Thamilselvan was caught in the explosion, but it was denied by the LTTE. LTTE “police chief” S. Nadesan told The Sunday Times that Mr. Thamilselvan was in Kilinochchi and that he had met him at 4 p.m.

The LTTE media also accused the Army’s Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol of carrying out the attack. According to the Pro-LTTE website Tamilnet, a seven-member group of the deep penetration unit of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fled leaving their bags inside the LTTE-controlled Adampan area when members of the Civil Volunteers Unit and LTTE cadres counter-attacked them yesterday around 6 a.m., LTTE sources in Mannar said. The bag recovered by CVU volunteers and LTTE cadres was found with army uniforms, military boots and food packets, according to the sources. SLA deep penetration group had entered the LTTE held Adampan through Papamoddai via Thiruketheeswaram area. Papamoddai area is also held by the LTTE.

The LTTE sentry at Adampan said yesterday a group of persons walked towards their sentry point in a suspicious manner and started attacking them with small arms”.

But military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe denied reports that a deep penetration team had entered an LTTE-controlled area to carry out an attack.
“We have not entered the uncleared areas since the ceasefire came into effect,” he said.

In a separate incident along the Mannar-Vavuniya road at Chettikulam a Police post came under attack by the LTTE. A police constable was injured in the incident. When police retaliated, two of the attackers were killed. In Trincomalee a homeguard and a threewheel driver were shot dead by the LTTE in Serunuwara while in Addalachchenai two Tamil youths were abducted by an unidentified gang and hacked to death.

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