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Claymore Kills 20- Including NZer's Close Relative

Claymore kills 20- including New Zealander's Close Relative

The Consortium of Tamil Associations in New Zealand (COTANZ) is shocked by the claymore attack that has left several school children dead and many injured in the Mannar district.

The Sri Lankan Army's Deep Penetration Unit, set off a claymore mine attack that targeted a bus carrying school children returning from a school sports day event. The children were all attending Thadcha'naamaruthamadu Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School and were Internally Displaced People's (IDP).

The claymore was placed a mere kilometer from the Madu church. The explosion occurred around 2:25PM on Tuesday 29th January, killing severa limmediately. However, the situation was made worse when the army starting firingartillery shells at the site of the initial blast.

This prevented people from helping victims of the claymore attack and injured more, said Rev. Fr. Emilianus Pillai, from Madu Church. This act shows that the entire purpose of the attack was in fact to kill many civilians aspossible.

The Sri Lankan Army has purposely targeted the area of the initial attack totry and kill those helping the victims. CONTANZ feels this is nothing short of genocide.On a personal note, CONTANZ would like offer its deepest sympathies to Pathmanathan, long standing member of COTANZ, and his wife, Marusalin Sandananayagy, known as Indra.

Indra's 10-year-old nephew Rohan Xavier was killed in this claymore attack andher 15-year-old niece Mathusa Xavier was seriously injured. Indra has also lost several other members of her extended family, many of whom werechildren traveling on the bus.

Both Pathma and Indra are active members in the Auckland Tamil community. They have been doing community work for several years.This is a great loss for them.

COTANZ shares in their feeling of loss and offers them our prayers and thoughts at thisdifficult time.

ENDS

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