At least 9 school children, principal and two teachers of the Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School were killed and 17 wounded when a Deep Penetration Unit of Sri Lanka Army triggered a Claymore mine targeting the bus carrying school children in Madu division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam controlled territory Tuesday at 2:25 p.m. Pa'l'lamadu hospital authorities told TamilNet that 9 of 17 killed in the attack were school children. The bus was 1 km away from Madu church, after having picked up the children at Thadcha'naamaruthamadu and was on its way to Paalampiddi from Madu.
The principal was among the dead. 7 children were critically wounded. 12 of the 17 wounded were in critical state and transferred to Muzhankaavil and Ki'linochchi hospitals.
Rev. Fr. Emilianus Pillai, from Madu Church, contacted by TamilNet, said tension prevailed at the attack site as SLA started firing artillery shells after the explosion, causing panic among the civilians who helping the victims. The driver and conductor of the bus were killed in the attack.
The children of the staff working at Madu Church were attending the school at Thadcha'naamaruthamadu with displaced children, Fr. Emilinaus said.
A Catholic Reverend Sister from the Madu Church, identified as Sister Rajani, was among the wounded.
Meanwhile, Tiger officials at the Mannaar Operations Command of the LTTE said they had spoiled several attempts by the SLA DPU teams to infiltrate and place Claymore mines along the roads in Mannaar district within the last three months.
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