Civilian casualties rise, SLA, SLAF attacks continue on safety zone
[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 February 2009, 21:31 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers attacked Moongkilaa'ru Sunday night around 10:00 p.m. casualty details are not known. Amid reports of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) using cluster munitions fitted to artillery shells in its indiscriminate barrage on civilian refuges, around 13 dead bodies of civilians were recovered Sunday morning in completely burned state, beyond identification, at Moongkilaa'ru in Udaiyaarkaddu within the 'safety zone' announced by the government of Sri Lanka. More than 30 children and elders were killed Saturday alone, reports said. Civilian casualties were mounting also on Sunday.
Civilians in the vicinity of Moongkilaa'ru said rockets exploded causing immediate fire at the locality where newly arrived IDP families were setting up makeshift tents around 9:00 p.m. Saturday. The IDPs referred to the explosions as caused by Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) warheads. There was no reports of inspection by experienced medical authorities to judge whether there was any chemical weapon deployed by the SLA in the attack.
At least 7 civilians were killed Sunday noon near Chuthanthirapuram school. 13 civilians were rushed to hospital.
Shells exploded near Udaiyaarkaddu hospital, causing panic among the medical staff and the patients at the hospital around 11:00 p.m. Sunday.
Medical authorities were not able to provide an overview of deaths as civilians were not taking their dead to the makeshift hospitals, which were struggling to cope with the situation.