A group of men with knives and at least one hand grenade in their possession, threatened journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema at her Bambalapitiya residence early this morning.
The men had forced their way into the house through the side door while her husband was out and she was at home with her young daughter and parents.
They cut the line of the home telephone and removed the battery of her mobile phone which was in her room.
“I saw some shadows moving and when I asked who it was they grabbed me,” she said.
Abeywickrema said that the five men threatened to kill her and wanted to know what valuables she had in the house.
Mandana’s mother who was sleeping, was pushed to a wall and threatened when she awoke and attempted to use the washroom.
The gang, who used some clothes in the house to cover their faces, later held knives at her daughter and parents.
After several minutes her husband, Romesh Abeywickrema, who had returned home, contacted the police after he felt suspicious near the entrance when he was unable to get through to Mandana on the phone.
When the police arrived they made their way in and found the gang still inside and an altercation broke out.
One policeman opened fire when the gang assaulted him and attempted to flee.
A gang member was killed in police gunfire while four others were eventually arrested with one person serious in hospital from gunshot wounds.
At least three policemen were also injured. Mandana and her family members were not hurt in the incident.
The Special Task Force bomb disposal squad later arrived at the scene at defused the grenade. A Magisterial inquiry was also carried out at the house. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam