The LTTE had threatened to shoot a group of army de-miners tasked with clearing a part of the demilitarised zone covering the Omanthai entry/exit point.
Army headquarters had recently authorised the deployment of US-trained de-miners after the ICRC made representations to relevant authorities including the government agent of Vavuniya.
The ICRC, in charge of facilitating civilian movements across the entry/exit point, had called for the widening of the area accessible to the travellers.
This would have facilitated civilian traffic across the main entry/exit point to and from the LTTE-held territory, military spokesman Brigadier Daya Ratnayake said.
According to him, a group of de-miners had moved into the location last Tuesday. The LTTE had obstructed the group.
Ratnayake said that the LTTE, through the ICRC, had threatened to fire at the de-miners unless they leave the area immediately.
He emphasised that they deployed de-miners with the knowledge of the LTTE. According to army headquarters records, about 81,000 civilians had crossed the entry/exit point during the second week of this month.
Shortly after the de-miners pulled out from the area, an LTTE cadre had fled across the `no man`s land` to take refuge at the army checkpoint.
Identified as Somasundaram Sharmjothi Shankar, the 21-year-old had deserted the so called Thamileelam police after being refused his monthly salary.
He had been detained at the LTTE`s Omanthai checkpoint after sentries detected him travelling in a private passenger bus. But he had taken to his heels when the sentries turned their attention to two more buses which had reached the point from the direction of Kilinochchi.
The military had informed the Scandinavian truce monitors and the ICRC of the incident.
Shankar is the first LTTE cadre to run for safety across the `no man`s land` across the Omanthai entry/exit point.