40 civilian refugees killed in Sri Lankan artillery attack

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 November 2006, 08:17 GMT]
Emergency Rescue workers in Vaharai say scores of civilians were killed Wednesday around 11:35 a.m. when Sri Lanka Army fired Multi-Barrel Rockets and artillery shells targeting Kathiraveli, a coastal hamlet 15 km north of Vaaharai, hit a school where five thousand Internally Displaced People had sought refuge. 40 dead bodies have been recovered. Six babies below 6-month were killed, said medical sources stating that 30 dead bodies had been brought to Vaaharai hospital. SLMM officials and the ICRC visited the area where more than 120 houses were severely damaged. An area with 2 km perimeter was indiscriminately bombed. 60 severely wounded civilians were brought to Valaichenai hospital.

Internally Displaced People wounded in Sri Lanka Army artillery attack on IDP refuge at Kathiraveli Vigneswara School.

2 civilians succumbed to their wounds while being transferred to Valaichenai.

Many of the civilians wounded in were struggling without medical facilities as the only hospital in Vaharai was also targeted by the artillery attack.

Patients in Vaharai hospital were forced to flee the hospital following the attack.

"An indiscriminate artillery and MBRL onslaught has continued for more than 30 minutes on Kathiraveli Vigneswara Vidyalayam killing and wounding tens of innocent IDPs," M. Raj, a TRO rescue worker said.

The school is located in a densely populated area.

Vaaharai region has been completely blocked for NGO access. There was no transportation for patients to be treated, the emergency rescue worker added.


Around 1600 families were staying in the IDP camp located at Kathiraveli school. Following the aerial and artillery attack on Paalchenai, more than 2000 IDP persons had arrived at the school during the past 72 hours.

ICRC, SLMM and UNICEF were informed of the attack. Despite the information, they were blocked by the Sri Lanka Army to enter the area, initial reports said. Later, the officials managed to reach Vaharai.

Panic striken people attempted to block ICRC officials from leaving the area fearing further artillery attacks.

NGO workers in Vaharai said they were trying to transport wounded civilians towards the entry/exit points although the SLA was initially not allowing the wounded to be transported in public vehicles.

Later, the SLA soldiers cooperated with the ICRC in transporting the wounded to Valaichenai and Batticaloa hospital.

There is only a single ambulance vehicle which is yet to return to Vaharai hospital.

The massive artillery and MBRL onslaught was launched while Sri Lanka Air Force reconnaissance aircrafts were engaged in operation, according to the initial reports.

Internally Displaced People wounded in Sri Lanka Army artillery attack on IDP refuge at Kathiraveli Vigneswara School.

Internally Displaced People wounded in Sri Lanka Army artillery attack on IDP refuge at Kathiraveli Vigneswara School.


15.11.06  Vaharai starves


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