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Security ramped up in Jaffna after discovery of explosives

Sri Lankan security forces have stepped up their presence in Jaffna following the recovery of a cache of explosives, including an apparent suicide bomber vest on Tuesday evening.

The discovery, made in the village of Maravanpulavu, was made following an anonymous tip off regarding illegal drug storage at the property, claimed Sri Lankan police.

A 31 year old man who lived in the property, named as Edward Jude Sebastian, was arrested by Kilinochchi police the following day, after he fled from Jaffna. He is currently being interrogated by Sri Lanka’s Terrorist Investigation Department (TID), who have reported him to be a former LTTE cadre.

His father and wife, who also lived at the house in Jaffna, have also been detained and are currently being questioned.

Sri Lankan police claimed to have recovered a suicide bomber jacket alongside 12 kg of explosives, which was hidden and wrapped in a Sinhala language newspaper. They also recovered 4 claymore mines, over 100 9mm bullets and 5 different mobile phone sim cards.

The incident sparked outrage in the South, with former Sri Lankan foreign minister G L Peiris saying this “should not be considered as an isolated incident”.

Sri Lankan soldiers seen by the Jaffna University Faculty of Arts

The Sri Lankan military stepped up its presence in Jaffna following the discovery, with increased numbers of troops deployed by Jaffna University.

The property has since been cordoned off by Sri Lankan security forces

Calling for tougher security measures to be put in place, Mr Peiris said, “The Government should not conceal the truth... We urge them to find those who involved in the incident, the purpose of them and whether this was just one incident in a planned network”.

However Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi responded by saying there was no threat to national security. Sri Lanka's TID are currently investigating the case he said, adding that the military would intervene if necessary.

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