At least five civilians were injured in an accidental explosion at a place where scrap iron is being collected in Kilinochchi this evening, the army said.
Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that around 4 p.m. in Thirumurukkandi (Killinochchi District) an explosion was reported at a place where scrap iron is being collected. Five civilians (two males aged 52 & 53 and three females aged 25, 26, & 44) who were in the vicinity have been injured. This includes some members of the family that was collecting scrap iron for sale. They have been evacuated to Kilinochchi General Hospital for treatments.
“Initial investigations have revealed that they have attempted to dismantle a pipe bomb which was an improvised explosive device that the LTTE used against the security forces. Some more scrap/war like material were recovered from the site of explosion believed to have been collected by the same people,” he said.
He also said that civilians have been advised through regular mine awareness programs not to handle unknown objects. Numerous improvised objects of this nature were buried by the LTTE against the security force targets and in some cases were hidden underground as arms/explosive caches for later use that they thought would be possible.
He also said that over a million explosive devices including scrap/war like objects of this nature have been recovered so far during De-mining. However some deeply buried caches could still remain in the north and east. Civilian population is strongly advised to refrain from handling any scrap/war like material that they come across.
It is in their best interest to inform the nearest security force camp or police station whenever they detect any scrap/war like material and allow the experts to handle such items with adequate safety precautions.