SLAF, SLA attacks displace 3500 civilians in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 March 2007, 07:32 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir jets dropped bombs in the villages of Tharavai and Kudumbimalai in the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) controlled Batticaloa district around 10:40 a.m. Friday, sources in Batticaloa said. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) stationed at 23-3 Brigade Head Quarters in Batticaloa, Valaichchenai Paper Factory, Chenkalady, Vavunathivu and Mylambavely Army Camps fired artillery shells into LTTE areas.
S. Seeralan, the Political Head of LTTE for Batticaloa district, said residents ran for cover as bombs exploded closer to heavily populated areas.
SLA continued the attacks for the third consecutive day in retaliation to the LTTE's attack on Weber stadium on Wednesday that caused minor injuries to diplomats on a site visit to Batticaloa.
According to Batticaloa district Government Agent (GA), Suntharam Arumainayagam, 3,500 people from 1,200 families arrived to Manmunai North (Batticaloa), Eravur Pattu (Chenkalady) and Manmunai South- Eruvil Pattu (Kaluwanchchikkudy) in the last three days.
Residents who fled the villages of Thandiyadi, Kannankudah, Kurinjamunai and Eechchenthivu in Manmunai west (Vavunathivu) division have been housed in Kokkuvil and Saththurukkondan in Manmunai North division.
Residents fleeing Koduvamadu, Pankudaveli, Iluppadichchenai and Karadiyanaru in the LTTE controlled part of Eravur Pattu division have been housed in Iyankerny and Kaluwankerny in the same division.
"Due to scarcity of available accommodation some internally displaced are sent to the Manmunai South, Eruvil Pattu division," the GA said.
Meanwhile, nearly 500 families became displaced in the LTTE controlled part of the district too. People fled Kannankudah area are housed at Kokkaddichcholai Cultural Hall, people from Eechchenthivu area are housed at Mahilavedduvan High School and people from Karadiyanaru and Ayiththiyamalai are housed at Koththiyapulai Kalaivani School and Mahiladiththivu School.
The total number of internally displaced persons in Batticaloa district has swelled to 82,000 comprising 2,250 families, according to the GA. The IDPs are housed in 49 transit camps, he said.
Meanwhile, 10 persons were injured and one boy died in the three days of shelling and SLAF bombing raids.