File photograph: Sri Lankan troops conduct a raid in Jaffna last year.
Sri Lankan security forces have reportedly arrested at least two people and carried out raids in Jaffna over the last week, stating that they have discovered guns and explosives in the region.
The army and police carried out a three-hour search of approximately 40 homes in Valvettithurai, after reports of explosives and a gun being discovered in a well. An arrest warrant was subsequently issued, with reports that two Tamils have been arrested.
Meanwhile, in Muhamalai, more arrests took place after a security guard reportedly interrupted the theft of 2kg of explosives from a landmine removal organization. The disruption caused the thieves to drop the items and escape on a motorcycle. However, the guard captured the bikes license plate on his phone causing the police to search Manipay, Alaveddy, and Earlalai for the suspects.
The following morning one of the reported suspects was arrested in Eluthumaduwal and handed over to Kodikamam police. The second suspect was arrested by the army in Ariyalai and subsequently detained in the army camp.
The latest arrests come amidst an increase in Sri Lankan security presence across the North-East, where tens of thousands of soldiers remain stationed. Recent months, particularly since the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as president, have seen an increasing number of checkpoints across the region.