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Shots fired at Jaffna High Court judge in suspected assassination attempt

The Jaffna High Court judge Ilancheliyan was fired at on Saturday evening, in a suspected assassination attempt which the judge believes to be linked to his overseeing of dangerous criminal cases.

The judge’s car was shot at by two individuals on Temple Road, close to the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, around 5.10pm (Jaffna time).

The two policemen that make up Judge Ilancheliyan’s security detail fired back, engaging in a five-minute shoot-out with the perpetrators, following which the perpetrators fled on motorbikes.

Although the judge was unharmed, both policemen were injured in the altercation and admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital for treatment.

One of the police officers, Judge Ilanacheliyan's 17 year bodyguard died from his injury later that evening. See more here

“This is a threat to the judiciary,” Judge Ilancheliyan told journalists, adding that he believed the attack to be related to any number of dangerous cases that he has been overseeing for the past eight months.

The judge called for the Sri Lankan president and justice officials to take the incident seriously and ensure the protection of judges and the independent judiciary.

The Tamil National Alliance condemned the attack and urged the Inspector General of Police to bring the perpetrators to justice and "investigate the conspiracies behind this accident." TNA spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran said in a statement that the party was "gravely concerned that the incidents of crime in Jaffna peninsula have reached serious levels."

The US Embassy said on Twitter it was "deeply concerned'" by the shooting and called on the Sri Lankan government to ensure perpetrators face "due, swift justice."