Several bodies have been recovered after a major battle took place in Kalmunai last night.
The Police said that 15 people were killed in a gun battle and explosion.
The Police suspect a suicide bomber had triggered the explosion.
Among the bodies recovered are of three women and six children.
The Police said that two gunmen were killed in the gun battle while a civilian caught in the crossfire also died.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said that the Special Task Force (STF) came under attack during a search operation in the area last night.
He said that initially there was an explosion and then shots were fired towards the STF commandos.
Gunasekera said that the STF retaliated and the military was called in to assist in the operation.
Military spokesman, Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said that troops were deployed to Sainthamaruthu to face a group of suspected terrorists.
He said it was believed there were between 3-6 terrorists in the area at the time.
A Police curfew was also imposed in Kalmunai, Chavalakade and Samanthurai when the operations were underway. (Colombo Gazette)