Lanka buries dead rebels, accused of Geneva violation

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Colombo, Oct 24 (UNI) The 'mutiliated' bodies of 21 Black Tigers who had stormed the Anuradhapur Air base killing nine airmen have been buried after completion of judicial medical procedure and post-mortem by the police, claimed Sri Lankan military.

The Anuradhapura Magistrate ordered the Police to bury the remains in view of their fast decaying nature, the Army report said, adding that many of those dead bodies were found strewn over the affected base with many organs and limbs severed as a result of the explosives they were carrying with them.

The military said that many of those LTTE cadres killed were wearing Air Force-type camouflage LTTE uniforms and had to be stripped off in order to remove their hidden suicide devices or other explosives tied around their person and waists.

Afterwards those corpses were covered with polythene, the Army said, indirectly rejecting LTTEs allegation's that they were on public display nakedly while being taken to the Anuradhapura hospital.

The LTTE in a statement accused the government of violating the Geneva Convention on the war-dead by publicly displaying the naked dead bodies of the LTTE cadres.

According to Air Force spokesman, Group Captain Ajantha Silva, a five-member committee led by an Air Vice Marshall has been appointed to probe into the LTTE attack on the Air Force base while another four-member committee has been appointed for separate investigations into the crash of the Bell 212 helicopter that killed four airmen at Mihintale, some eight kilometers away from Anuradhapura also on Monday.

''We gave some details to the media based on the initial investigation on Monday. Now a full-scale probe is underway and we will be able to divulge more details in a couple of days,'' Group Captain Ajantha Silva told UNI over the phone while neither confirming nor denying the loss of spy planes in the storming of the strategic airbase.

Meanwhile, making a special speech in parliament regarding the LTTE's Commando-style attack, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Rantnasiri Wickremanayake has accepted the loss of at least eight aircraft of the Sri Lankan airforce, including two MI 24 helicopters, one beach aircraft, three small PT-6 aircraft, one K-8 aircraft and one MI 17 helicopter were damaged during the LTTE attack on Monday along with the crash of one Bell 212 helicopter killing for airmen instanly.

The latest round of escalation since the beginning of 2006 puts a serious question mark on the Norwegian brokered Cease Fire Agreement(CFA).

The Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) signed the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) on February 22nd 2002 as a means of reaching a negotiated solution to the country's ethnic conflict.

UNI

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