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Amnesty for Eastern Muslim armed groups extended

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 10:26 No Comment]

Another five-day amnesty period with effect from Monday to hand over all illegal weapons by Muslim militant groups in Ea’raavoor police division in Batticaloa district has been announced by the Sri Lanka Police. Using loud speakers, the police announced that any person, who is carrying weapons illegally to hand over them to the nearest Mosque within this period. It was also announced that soon after the end of the amnesty period, police assisted by the security forces will commence to trace illegal weapons in the area.

The earlier amnesty period ended on July 4.

A total of 16 T 56 assault rifles, one T 81 sub machine gun, four 303 rifles, two sub machine guns, one shot gun, one 9 mm pistol, 16 hand grenades and a large cache of ammunition were handed over during that period.

Police said that Jihadist militants possess around 250 T 56 assault rifles, a fraction of which had been handed over by the time the deadline expired.

The amnesty period was given to armed Muslim groups by the law enforcement authority after state intelligence services identified 18 Muslim militant leaders who are wanted for various crimes.

Then President late Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1990 after the Kaaththaankudi Mosque massacre gave a consignment of arms to Muslim youths to safeguard Muslims from the LTTE.

With the increase of LTTE activities in the province, the circulation of arms had risen, according to Muslim politicians in the area, the sources said.

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