23 persons killed in shootings

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A total of 23 persons have died in 21 shooting incidents islandwide since 30 May, Police said.

Police Spokesman, SSP Nihal Thalduwa, speaking to the media, said the majority of shootings were linked to drug rackets and criminal gangs. He also said the deceased are associated with such rackets, and that certain shootings were ordered by drug traffickers operating from overseas.

He pointed out that several suspects have been arrested in connection with the shootings, and firearms used in the crimes have also been seized.

“Investigations into the shootings are ongoing. Police Headquarters has issued directives to Provincial Senior DIGs to remain vigilant, and Intelligence Officers are working to arrest those responsible for the shootings,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Special Task Force said two henchmen of the infamous Sanjeeva Samararatne alias Ganemulla Sanjeeva, an organised criminal and large-scale drug trafficker who is hiding in a foreign country, were arrested with heroin and money in Makevita, Gampaha.

The two suspects were in possession of 30 grammes of heroin, six mobile phones, and over Rs 120,000 in cash, according to the Special Task Force.

Based on a tip-off received by the Special Task Force personnel at the Gonahena camp, a raid was conducted in front of a house in Tammita, Makevita, in the Gampaha Police Division, and the duo were arrested.

By Thameenah Razeek