Hospital attacked, 7 killed, dozens wounded
[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 February 2009, 09:42 GMT]
The only remaining hospital in Udaiyaarkaddu within the so-called safe zone has again come under heavy shelling by the Sri Lanka Army on Thursday. At least 7 civilians were killed and 27 wounded in the close vicinity of the makeshift hospital functioning at a school. 2 ambulances were destroyed and the medical store of the hospital has been completely destroyed. The attack comes a day after US Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urging the warring parties not to fire out of or into the safe zone and in the vicinity of Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) hospital or any other medical structure.
Medical authorities said at least 500 civilians were killed and 2,000 wounded within the last 3 weeks. The figure was based on a conservative estimate as many people have buried their dead, under the prevailing circumstances of heavy artillery barrage, without being able to register the deaths.
Many of the victims were children and elderly.
There were 20 dead bodies brought to the hospital 3 days ago, but no relatives were able to reach the hospital and identify the victims.
The store of the hospital has been damaged in Thursday's attack.
The hospital was functioning without medical supplies.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has not allowed December 2008 and January 2009 quotas of medicine for Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) offices to be transported into Vanni, according to a report received on 31 January. The quotas are stored at Vavuniyaa RDHS office while the Sri Lankan Minister of Health, Nimal Siripala de Silva was telling the media personnel at a press briefing last week that there are enough stocks available in the two districts.
Denying transport of medicines also constitutes a war crime.