Tiger fire kills six soldiers cleaning Thallady church

The LTTE yesterday fired artillery at St. Sebastian Church, Thallady killing six soldiers and wounding ten, army headquarters said.

The soldiers had been sent there to clear the Church premises after the church requested army assistance, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

According to him, the LTTE had fired about 15 rounds of 130 mm artillery from Vidathalthivu, North of Mannar for about two hours after the soldiers entered the Church premises. The Church had been badly damaged in the attack, he said.

A five member delegation from the Church on Monday met the army top brass based at Thallady to discuss the possibility of deploying the army to assist them.

The LTTE had fired artillery about two hours after the soldfiers began work. Troops had fired an artillery barrage after closing the Tallady-Mannar road to civilian traffic.

Army headquarters said that at least 45 LTTE cadres had been killed in separate confrontations on the Vanni front and in the East.

Almost half of them had been killed in fierce close quarter fighting in the Anandakulam area which also claimed the lives of 10 soldiers and wounded at least 25. (SF)


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