List of attacks attributed to the LTTE, 1980s

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

The following is a list of chronological attacks attributed to the LTTE in 1980s during the Sri Lankan Civil War. The deadliest attack for the decade was the Anuradhapura massacre in 1985.

Attacks in chronological order


Date Attack Location Sinhalese Tamils Muslims Death toll Sources
July 23 Four Four Bravo: 13 soldiers are killed in an LTTE ambush in Jaffna, sparking anti-Tamil riots that cause the death of approximately 4000 Tamils across Sri Lanka during four days, in what would be later labelled as Black July. Jaffna, Jaffna District 13 13



1984 marked the intensification of the war between the Tamil separatists and the Sri Lankan government, as well as the first reports of civilian massacres by the LTTE.

Date Attack Location Sinhalese Tamils Muslims Death toll Sources
November 11 Dollar Farm massacre: 33 civilians which included women and children were attacked in Dollar Farm village in the night by an armed group made up of LTTE cadres. Mullaitivu District 33 33 [2]
November 30 Kent Farm massacre: Following the attack on the Dollar Farm village, a second night raid was launched by the LTTE cadres which targeted the Kent Farm village, 29 civilians including women and children were massacred. They also looted and set fire on to victims houses. Mullaitivu District 29 29 [2]
December 1 Kokilai massacre: LTTE cadres kill eleven Sinhalese civilians in the fishing village of Kokilai. Kokkilai, Mullaitivu District 11 11 [3]
December 31 LTTE members kill 4 Tamil civilians and dump them outside of Batticaloa for refusing to fight for the group. Altogether 30 Tamil civilians were killed for similar reasons in 1984. Batticaloa, Batticaloa District 30 30 [4]


1985 marked a major escalation of hostilities. For the first time the LTTE attacked a major Sinhalese majority town killing 146 unarmed civilians. The impact of this attack was felt across the island and received world wide attention.

Date Attack Location Sinhalese Tamils Muslims Death toll Sources
January 20 22 soldiers and 10 civilians are killed in a train explosion set off by the LTTE. Colombo, Colombo District 33 33 [5]
May 5 Wilpattu Village Massacre: Wilpattu, a Sinhalese village in Anuradhapura District, was the target of a raid of an armed group of LTTE cadres, who killed 18 villagers that included women and children. Wilpattu, Anuradhapura District 18 18 [6]
May 14 Anuradhapura massacre: LTTE gunmen shoot dead 146 Sinhalese civilians and injure 85 others as they were praying at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred Buddhist shrine in Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura, Anuradhapura District 146 146 [7]
May 14 LTTE cadres shoot dead 18 Sinhalese civilians in the Wilpattu National Park while they are fleeing from the massacre of 146 civilians earlier in the day (see Anuradhapura massacre). Wilpattu National Park, Anuradhapura District 18 18 [3]
May 30 LTTE cadres shoot and kill five Sinhalese civilians in the villages of Mahandapura and Dehiwatta. People of these villages had previously received numerous threats from the LTTE associates. This massacre was part of a series of massacres aimed at displacing Sinhalese from the North East of Sri Lanka. Mahandapura and Dehiwatta, Polonnaruwa District 5 5 [8]
June 4 Dehiwatta Village Massacre: Armed with sharp weapons over 100 LTTE cadres killed 15 villagers on their sleeping mats in the village of Dehiwatta. Victims included women and children, which were the majority killed. Dehiwatta, Polonnaruwa District 15 15 [6]
June 11 13 Sinhalese civilians are shot dead by LTTE gunmen in Dehiwatta. Dehiwatta, Polonnaruwa District 13 13 [3]
August 2 LTTE cadres shot dead three Sinhalese Buddhist monks and three civilians, while they were worshipping at the Ruhunu Somavathiya Temple. Thrikonamadu, Polonnaruwa District 6 6 [3]
August 14 Aranthalawa Village Massacre: Seven Sinhalese villagers were tortured and killed at Aranthalawa. They were targeted by an armed group of LTTE cadres. Aranthalawa, Ampara District 7 7 [6]
August 18 Namalwatta Village Massacre I: A group of LTTE cadres armed with sharp weapons hacked 7 villagers. Namalwatta, Trincomalee District 7 7 [6]
November 7 Namalwatta Village Massacre II: Ten villagers, including women and children were raided and executed at Namalwatta for the second time. Namalwatta, Trincomalee District 10 10 [6]
December 20 Six Madhu pilgrims, abducted by the LTTE on 12/12/85 were executed. Mannar, Mannar District 6 [3]


Date Attack Location Sinhalese Tamils Muslims Death toll Sources
February 2 Kantale Village massacre: Armed with small arms and swords LTTE cadres raided the village of Kantalai killing 19 civilians. Kantalai, Trincomalee District 19 [9]
February 19 When refugees from Serunuwara, Dehiwatta were being escorted by army personnel along Ella/Kantalai road, LTTE exploded a mine killing 35 civilians and four army personnel. Sittaru Kantalai, Trincomalee District 39 [3]
May 3 Air Lanka Flight 512: LTTE bomb explodes aboard Air Lanka flight carrying mainly French, British and Japanese tourists killing 21 (including 13 foreigners - of whom 3 British, 2 German, 3 French, 2 Japanese, 1 Maldivian and 1 Pakistani) and injuring 41 on Bandaranaike International Airport. Katunayake, Western Province 21 [3][10]
May 5 Kinniya Village massacre: Four Moor civilians were tortured and killed by a group of LTTE cadres. Kinniya, Trincomalee District 4 4 [9]
May 6 Central Telegraph Office Bombing: The Central Telegraph Office, Colombo was the target on a bomb detonated by the LTTE cadres which killed 14 civilians who were at the office. Colombo 14 [9]
May 25 Mahadivulwewa Village massacre: An armed group of LTTE cadres killed 20 Sinhalese by shooting them dead and set alight 20 houses. Mahadivulwewa, Anuradhapura District 20 20 [3][9]
June 2 Trincomalee 3rd Mile post massacre: Civilian homes at the 3rd mile post, Trincomalee were stormed by a group of armed LTTE cadres who killed 10 civilians, including women and children Trincomalee 10 [9]
June 4 Andankulam Village massacre: 17–20 civilians, including Ven. Bakamune Subaddalanakara Thero, were attacked, tortured and killed by LTTE cadres in the village of Andankulam. Andankulam, Trincomalee District 17–20 17–20 [3][9]
June 11 22 people were killed and another 75 others were injured when two bombs were detonated simultaneously by the LTTE on two buses heading to Kantalai and Colombo respectively. The first bus was front of the Bank of Ceylon Trincomalee branch and the other in close proximity to the SP office. Trincomalee, Trincomalee District 22 [3][9]
June 21 Wilgamwehera Village massacre: 9 civilians, including children, were murdered in the Wilgamwehera hamlet by LTTE cadres. Wilgamwehera, Trincomalee District 9 [9]
June 25 Bomb exploded in a vehicle by LTTE killed 16 Sinhalese. Sittaru, Kantalai, Trincomalee District 16 16 [3]
July 8 Monkey Bridge Village massacre: 15 Sinhalese villagers were shot to death by LTTE cadres. Monkey Bridge, Trincomalee District 15 15 [3][9]
July 9 Mollipothana Village massacre: Mullipothana village was stormed at night by a group of armed LTTE cadres who killed 16 civilians most of them being women and children. Mullipothana, Trincomalee District 16 [9]
July 13 Pavakkulam Village massacre: Nine Tamil and two Sinhalese villages were killed by four LTTE cadres who had arrived in a jeep to tract No. 16, Pavakkulam. Pavakkulam, Trincomalee District 2 9 11 [3][9]
July 19 Beruwil & Wadigawewa Village massacre: The villages of Beruwil and Waigawewa were stormed by large armed group of LTTE cadres numbering over 100, killing 17 villagers including women and children, as well as causing serious cut wounds to at least 5 others. Beruwil & Wilgamwehera, Trincomalee District 17 [9]
July 19 LTTE cadres shot dead twelve Sinhalese villagers. Wadigawewa, North Central Province 12 12 [3]
July 22 LTTE cadres exploded a land-mine on a civilian bus, killing 32 Sinhalese civilians and injuring 20 others. Mammaduwa, Vavuniya District 32 32 [citation needed]
July 24 A bomb exploded inside a bus proceeding from Vavuniya to Anuradhapura; killing 13 passengers and injuring 40 others. 13 [3]
July 24 About 50 LTTE cadres entered Damana, a Sinhalese village, and killed nine persons; another 13 were injured. Damana, Central Province 9 [3]
September 17 Kantalai massacre: LTTE cadres entered block No.4 of the Sugar Corporation, Kantalai and ten civilians were shot to death. Kantalai, Trincomalee District 7 1 2 10 [3]
September 17 Wadigawewa Village massacre: Following the Kantalai massacre, the village of Wadigawewa was attacked by the same group of LTTE acdres who killed 12 villagers including women and children. Wadigawewa, Trincomalee District 12 [9]


Date Attack Location Sinhalese Tamils Muslims Death toll Sources
4 February Manthottam massacre: The village of Manthottam, which is mostly made up of Sinhalese, was attacked by a group of 50 armed LTTE cadres, who murdered eight villagers after brutally torturing them. The death toll was reduced since villagers had hid in the surrounding jungles anticipating such an attack. Manthottam, Mannar District 8 - - 8 [11]
7 February Arantalawa massacre: In a night house-to-house raid LTTE cadres armed with swords, machetes, clubs and small-arms killed 27 to 28 civilians including children and women. Pregnant mothers were found hacked to death and with their necks slashed. Arantalawa, Ampara District ? ? ? 27-28 [3][11]
7 March Awarantalawa massacre: Six civilians were killed when the LTTE detonated a land-mine as troops were passing. Also killed were seven soldiers and four NAF soldiers. Awarantalawa, Vavuniya District ? ? ? 17 [3][11]
22 March Serunuwara Horowpathana massacre: LTTE cadres shot dead 26 Sinhalese villagers. Serunuwara Horowpathana 26 ? ? 26 [3][11]
25 March Serunuwara massacre: Armed LTTE cadres stormed Serunuwara village, mostly inhabited by Sinhalese, and herded the farming families at gunpoint to a road. They were then shot there in execution style. In total 25 villagers were killed, most of whom were women and children. Serunuwara, Trincomalee District 25 - - 25 [11]
17 April Aluth Oya massacre: LTTE cadres shot dead 127 Sinhalese civilians, including 31 police and security force personnel who were travelling in 3 buses and 2 trucks to Trincomalee. The cadres clad in military uniforms stopped the vehicles and dragged out the passengers and shot them to death with automatic weapons after brutally assaulting them with clubs. Over 70 with injuries were air lifted. The dead included many children and 12 off duty security personnel. Most of the victims were families visiting their relatives for the new year. Aluth oya, Habarana, Anuradhapura District 127 - - 127 [3][12]
20 April Jayanthipura Massacre: The majority Sinhalese village of Jayanthipura was raided by a group of armed LTTE who murdered 15 civilians including women and children. Jayanthipura, Polonnaruwa District 15 - - 15 [11]
21 April Central Bus Station Bombing: A bomb detonated by LTTE operatives at the central bus terminal of Colombo killed 113 civilians, two policemen and a soldier; 298 others were injured. Pettah, Colombo District ? ? ? 116 [11]
21 April Jayanthipura massacre: 15 Sinhalese villagers were shot dead by LTTE cadres. Jayanthipura, Trincomalee District 15 ? ? 15 [11]
29 May Attack on Kadawathmadu: A group of armed LTTE cadres raided the majority Sinhalese village of Kadawathmadu killing seven civilians and leaving five others injured. Due to the LTTE threat, the villagers slept in jungle hideouts during the night, which reduced the casualties. Kadawathmadu, Polonnaruwa District 7 - - 7 [3][11]
2 June Aranthalawa Massacre: In the first massacre of Buddhist monks in modern Sri Lankan history, a bus carrying Buddhist monks was stopped by LTTE in Arantalawa. 32 Buddhist monks, including Chief Priest Ven. Hegoda Indrasara, were killed with only one monk surviving. Arantalawa 32 - - 32 [11][13]
5 June Nelliady attack: In the first suicide attack by the LTTE Black Tigers, a small truck laden with explosives was driven into a Sri Lanka Army base in Nelliady, Jaffna peninsula by Vallipuram Vasanthan. Over 50 soldiers were killed along with Vasanthan. Nelliady, Jaffna District 50 - - 50 [11]
11 June Veppankulam attack: 13 civilians and a soldier were killed when a private van en route from Horowpathana to Trincomalee was blowup by a LTTE pressure mine. Veppankulam, Trincomalee District ? ? ? 14 [3][11]
12 June Godapotta massacre: A meeting to discuss a new temple was attacked by the LTTE, who surrounded the temple and attacked the gathering of over 175 villagers, resulting in the deaths of eight villagers; a soldier and six people were injured. Godapotta, Polonnaruwa District ? ? ? 9 [3][11]
21 June Godapotta massacre: The hamlet of Godapotha, a majority Sinhalese village in Polonnaruwa was raided by a group of armed LTTE cadres, killing eight villagers and injuring one. The death toll was reduced since villagers had hid in the surrounding jungles anticipating such an attack. Godapotha, Polonnaruwa District ? ? ? 8 [11]
29 July Thoppur massacre: Nine villagers were killed after being tortured by LTTE cadres armed with swords, machetes and small arms. Thoppur, Jaffna District ? ? ? 9 [11]
6 October Batticaloa: 18 Sinhalese civilians were shot dead by LTTE cadres. Batticaloa, Batticaloa District 18 - - 18 [3][11]
6 October Tharavi massacre: Tharavi, a majority Sinhalese village, was stormed by over 100 LTTE cadres armed with swords, machetes and small arms, who killed 25 civilians, mostly women and children including infants and pregnant mothers. Tharavi, Batticaloa District 25 - - 25 [3][11]
6 October Sagarapura massacre: A house-to-house massacre was carried out by LTTE cadres, clubbing children to death in front of their parents, and hacking the adults to death using sharp weapons. 27 Sinhalese villagers were shot dead. After looting their victims' homes, these were set alight, burning the wounded victims alive. Another six villagers survived the attack with serious cut wounds. Sagarapura, Trincomalee District 27 - - 27 [3][11]
6 October Valaichchenai massacre: 40 Sinhalese passengers in the night-mail train from Batticaloa were killed by LTTE cadres who stopped the train. Valaichchenai, Batticaloa District 40 - - 40 [3][11]
7 October Pottuvil Monargala Road massacre: 25 Sinhalese passengers travelling by bus were shot dead by LTTE cadres, who also killed five motorcyclists travelling along the same route. Pottuvil, Ampara District ? ? ? 30 [3][11]
10 October Ganthalawa massacre: Gantalawa hamlet in Kantala was attacked and 9-10 civilians murdered with three wounded by LTTE cadres armed with swords, machetes and small arms. Ganthalawa 9-10 - - 9-10 [3][11]
15 October Ella Kantalai massacre: Ella Kantalai, a majority Sinhalese village, was attacked by LTTE cadres armed with swords, machetes and small arms, killing 14 civilians including women and children. Ella Kantalai, Trincomalee District 14 - - 14 [11]
16 October Pulimodai massacre: A private bus was stopped by LTTE cadres, who removed the Sinhalese people killing 11 including three policemen. Pulimodai, Trincomalee District 11 - - 11 [3][11]
19 October Kalkudah attack: A private bus transporting Tamil passengers was blown up by a LTTE land-mine, killing 40 persons and an IPKF soldier Kalkudah, Batticaloa District ? ? ? 41 [3][11]
9 November Maradana bombing: 23 civilians were killed and 106 injured by LTTE cadres who exploded a bomb, another 15 were shot dead. Maradana, Colombo District ? ? ? 38 [11]
11 November Kalkuda massacre: Seven Sinhalese people selling fish were shot dead by LTTE cadres. Kalkudah, Batticaloa District 7 - - 7 [3][11]
12 November Cheddikulam massacre: 12 Tamil persons and 13 PLOTE members were killed when their van was blown up by an LTTE land-mine. Cheddikulam, Vavuniya District - 24 - 24 [3][11]
15 December Devalagodella massacre: Devalagodella and Somavathiya villages were attacked by LTTE cadres armed with small arms and sharp weapons, killing 7-9 civilians. Devalagodella, Polonnaruwa District ? ? ? 9 [3][11]
22 December Morawewa massacre: 5-6 Sinhalese and a Tamil were abducted and tortured to death by LTTE cadres. Morawewa, Trincomalee District 5 1 - 6 [3][11]
31 December Mahadivulwewa massacre: 10 villagers were shot dead and 15 houses burnt by LTTE cadres. Mahadivulwewa, Trincomalee District ? ? ? 10 [3][11]
31 December Kathankadu massacre: The Muslim majority village of Kathankadu is raided by LTTE cadres armed with sharp weapons and small arms, who carried out the killing of 30 civilians, including women and children with bodies severely mutilated. Kathankadu, Batticaloa District - - 30 30 [11]


  • March 2: Morawewa, Trincomalee: LTTE cadres shot dead 14 Sinhalese villagers.[3]
  • March 11: Suhadagama Horowpathana Anuradhapura: A group of LTTE cadres attacked a private bus, 22 Sri 2218, at Suhadagamaw with small arms and grenades, killing 19 passengers and injuring nine others.[3]
  • March 14: Galmitiyawa, Kantalai: LTTE cadres shot dead 13 Sinhalese villagers at Galmitiyawa.[3]
  • March 15: Kivulkade, Morawewa, Trincomalee: Two groups of LTTE operatives entered the village and killed seven Sinhalese villagers.[3]
  • March 17: Deegavapiya, Damana, Ampara: LTTE cadres hacked to death 13 Sinhalese villagers.[3]
  • March 22: Pudukulam, Vavuniya: Between ten and 15 LTTE cadres attacked the Sinhalese village and killed six villagers. Another three were injured.[3]
  • March 22: Medavachchi-kulam Vavuniya: LTTE cadres shot dead nine Sinhalese villagers.[3]
  • March 29: Wewalketiya: A LTTE bomb exploded inside CTB bus 29 Sri 9037 Anuradhapura which was proceeding from Horowpathana to Medavachchiya, killing nine passengers and injuring 14 others.[3]
  • March 31: Saindamaradu, Kalmunai: LTTE cadres attacked the village, killing ten Muslims and seven Tamils.[3]
  • April 8: Horowpathana, Meegaswewa, Anuradhapura: LTTE gunmen killed 14 Sinhalese.[3]
  • May 1: Sittaru Kantalai, Trincomalee: LTTE cadres exploded a land-mine on a CTB bus killing twelve Sinhalese, nine Muslims and five others, who were not identified.[3]
  • July 28: Ethawetunawewa, Weli Oya: LTTE operatives hacked to death 16 Sinhalese villagers.[3]
  • August 16: Trincomalee (opposite Clock Tower): LTTE cadres exploded a bomb, killing sixe Sinhalese, two Muslims, one Tamil and a soldier; 19 persons sustained injuries.[3]
  • August 25: Marawila, Polonnaruwa: LTTE cadres killed eleven civilians by cutting their necks.[3]
  • September 10: 16th Colony, Central Camp Ampara: LTTE cadres shot dead seven Sinhalese and four Tamils.[3]
  • October 9: Mahakongaskada Medavachchiya: LTTE cadres shot dead 44 Sinhalese villagers and set fire to eleven houses.[3]
  • November 14: Paniketiyawa, Gomarakadawela Trincomalee: LTTE cadres shot dead 28 Sinhalese, including two security force personnel.[3]


Date Attack Location Sinhalese Tamils Muslims Death toll Sources
January 17 Maharambekulam Village massacre 9 9 [14]
February 2 Bogamuyaya Village massacre 11 11 [3][14]
February 11 Dutuwewa Village massacre Dutuwewa, Polonnaruwa District 37 37 [3][14]
February 11 Singhapura Village massacre Singhapura 6 6 [3][14]
February 27 Borawewa Village bloodbath Borawewa, Polonnaruwa District 38 38 [3][14]
August 17 Nochchikulam Village massacre: An IDE explosion, killing eight civilians and injuring four others. Nochchikulam, Vavuniya District 8 [3]

See also


  1. "Timeline: Sri Lanka". BBC News. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 LTTE Atrocities, Year 1984, Ministry of Defence, Government of Sri Lanka
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 3.47 3.48 3.49 3.50 3.51 3.52 3.53 3.54 3.55 3.56 3.57 3.58 Letter sent by the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the Centre for Human Rights, Government of Sri Lanka, 9 August 1994
  4. "Rebels in Sri Lanka Shoot Four as 'Traitors'". New York Times. New York Times. 1984-12-31. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  5. "3 Killed in Sri Lanka As Train is Blown Up". New York Times. New York Times. 1985-01-21. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 LTTE Atrocities, Year 1985, Ministry of Defence, Government of Sri Lanka
  7. "Timeline of the Tamil conflict". BBC News. 2000-09-04. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  8. Gunasekara, S.L. (November 4, 2003). The Wages of Sin, ISBN 955-8552-01-1
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 LTTE Atrocities, Year 1986, Ministry of Defence, Government of Sri Lanka
  10. "BBC News, "On this Day" 1986: Bomb kills 21 in Sri Lanka"". BBC News. 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 11.21 11.22 11.23 11.24 11.25 11.26 11.27 11.28 11.29 11.30 "LTTE Atrocities, Year 1987". 1987. Ministry of Defence, Government of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  12. "1987: THE BUBBLE BURSTS, Chapter 6.". UTHR(J). Retrieved 2001-01-01.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. Elmo Fernando: LTTE massacre site is haven for Tamil victims, BBC Sinhala, January 28, 2005
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 LTTE Atrocities, Year 1989, Ministry of Defence, Government of Sri Lanka