Two suspects of a robber gang who had made an effort to loot jewellery and killed two Police Officers, have been killed by the Police during a search operation. Military Spokesman Major Gen. Ubhaya Medawela said that another two had been apprehended.
The Military Spokesman said during the search operations which were launched this morning, two suspects were killed during an exchange of fire with the Army. It was also possible to apprehend two suspects. Operations are continuing under the guidance of the 112th Brigade Commander. He was optimistic that it would be possible to arrest all suspects involved in the incident.
The robbers had entered a jewellery pawning centre at Warakapola at around 4.30 pm yesterday. They had claimed that they were members of the Police intelligence and had come in to investigate about a Gold Buddha statue at the centre based on a tip-off. The employees were ordered to open the safe. When the looting of the jewellery was taking place, a female employee had sounded the warning alarm signal. As a result, the robbers had fled in the Dolphin vehicle in which they had arrived.
An eye witness said that the looters had opened fire at the Police who were pursuing them. In this process, two Police officers were killed.
The robbers who fled had hidden in a forest area at Kebellawita at Yathalgoda. The vehicle which had a fake number plate was found abandoned at Devale Road in Warakapola. The search for the robbers was carried out with the support of soldiers of the Army camp at Ambepussa. Lionel Ratnayake and Anura Bandara are the Police Officers who died in this fiasco. An injured Police officer is receiving treatment at the Warakapola hospital. Investigations have revealed that the owner of the vehicle is a resident at Welikadawatte in Rajagiriya.