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A bizzarre death caused by an anti-aircraft bullet


N. D. N. A. Mendis

University of Colombo, LK
About N. D. N. A.
Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine
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In 2009, towards end of the civil war with the Sri Lankan government, the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Elam (LTTE) carried out a suicide mission using two light aircraft. Both planes were later shot down by anti-aircraft fire. A young girl living in the suburbs who was watching the incident died after sustaining injuries due to an anti-aircraft bullet. The bullet had entered the root of neck and was found inside the left chest cavity. Atypical firearm injury is an important issue in the practice of forensic medicine. Interpretation of the injury and determination of the manner of death are important areas a forensic pathologist should deal with. A fair knowledge about aero-physics and behaviour of falling bullets is necessary to deal with this type of case. The morbidity and mortality depends on the site of impact of the bullet. This is the first such case reported in Sri Lanka. Though it has occurred under extra-ordinary circumstances it highlights the importance of following instructions given to the public under such circumstances.
How to Cite: Mendis, N.D.N.A., 2021. A bizzarre death caused by an anti-aircraft bullet. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 12(2), pp.37–40. DOI:
Published on 03 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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