Artillery shelling shuts down A9 entry point
[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 October 2007, 18:41 GMT]
The entry, exit point between Sri Lanka Army controlled areas and Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) controlled Vanni, has been closed Thursday as the parties exchanged artillery fire, sources in Vavuniyaa said. All traffic through the gateway including ambulances carrying patients in critical condition was blocked as shells exploded close to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) office in the no-man's land, sources in Vanni said.
Patients in need of urgent medical treatment from Ki'linochchi hospital had to return due to the closure of the Oamanthai gateway. More than 200 passengers to Vavuniyaa and other places including Colombo had to return to their places.
Civilian settlements in northern war-front like Mukamaalai, Naakarkoayil, Ki'laali, Vadamaraadchi East, Pa'lai, Chempiyanpattu, Iyakkachchi, Maruthangkearni, Kaddaikkaadu, Vettilaikkearni and Poonakari besides Vavuniyaa and Mannar districts have been the targets of heavy artillery, mortar and Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher fire from SLA positions in the past few weeks.
Air attacks by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) have also been stepped up again. SLAF Kfir fighter jets bombed Vanni Monday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has stepped up naval patrols along the north-eastern coast causing fishermen in Vadamaraadchi and Mullaiththeevu to refrain from fishing.