Kotahena shooting: Gunmen targeted two underworld rivals – police

By Madura Ranwala

Investigations had revealed that two underworld criminals wanted by police in connection with many criminal activities had returned to the country to do political work for a government politician and they had been the target of yesterday’s shooting at Bloemendhal Road, Kotahena, a senior police officer told The Island last night.

The car used for the attack found near the crime scene.

The attack left one person dead and twelve other injured.

"How the suspects had fled after leaving the car is being probed and the four suspects had been identified and they had fled the area," police said.

Two wanted underworld criminals known as ‘Army Sampath’ and ‘Sanka’, who had returned to the country recently were the main targets of the attack carried out by a criminal called Pathum and three assailants in a black car with T-56 assault rifles, police said.

Pathum is a buddy of ‘Dematagoda Chaminda’, another underworld leader, who is now in prison. The police attributed the incident to a dispute between the two criminal gangs a senior police officer said.

Police said that they had not been able to find ‘Army Sampath’ and ‘Sanka’ among the wounded being treated at the National hospital, Colombo and investigations were being conducted to ascertain whether they were wounded or not and what had happened to them thereafter.

Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara told The Island that the car had beeb found in the park of the newly built flats on the Bloemendhal Road.

Asked how the assailants had fled the area, Police Spokesman ASP Gunasekera said that the people there were yet in a state of shock after the incident and so the police had not yet been able to ascertain the details.

A T-56 magazine had been found inside the abandoned car, ASP Gunasekara said.

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