Kfir bombs force thousands to flee
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
More than two thousand civilians fled the coastal village of Vaakarai, 85 km. north of Batticaloa, fearing a Sri Lankan army offensive after Israeli Kfir jets of the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed and strafed the area this morning. Four school children, two boys and two girls, were wounded in the bombing.
Sources said that the SLAF jets dropped several 250 Kg bombs near the Vaakarai junction wounding the school children who were on their way to the nearby Vaakarai Maha Viththiyalayam (school).
More than ten fishing boats on the Vaakarai beach were damaged in the bombing said reports reaching Valaichenai, 25 kilometers south of the village, this afternoon.
Vaakarai is in the large region in the northern part of the Batticaloa district which is under the control of the Liberation Tigers.
The LTTE's military bases and facilities are in the interior, west of Vaakarai, across the Uppaaru lagoon.
The population of this large under-developed region is concentrated along the coast.
The SLA has imposed stringent restrictions on the movement of civilians and the supply of food, medicine and other essential items to the area.
The civilians who fled today's bombing have are trekking towards the villages of Kathiraveli to the north and Maankerni to the south of Vaakarai, said a government official in Valaichenai this afternoon.