Civilians flee fighting in Vakarai
[TamilNet, Friday, 09 April 2004, 17:05 GMT]
A large number of civilians are fleeing their homes as a result of the fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the renegade Karuna group in Vakarai, sources said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that 4000 civilians have fled.
Residents in the area said 800 families have sought refuge at the Mankerni Roman Catholic Tamil School. Mankerni is located north of Valaichenai and the Sri Lanka Army controls the area south of Mankerni, while the area north of Mankerni is controlled by the LTTE (by the Karuna group since the split in the LTTE).
In addition, more than 1000 families have sought refuge in the Verugal area, sources said.