Heavy fighting in PTK, civilians trapped in SLA barrage
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 February 2009, 21:15 GMT]
Heavy fighting has been reported west of Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) where Sri Lanka Army (SLA) divisions 58 and 53 have suffered heavy casualties throughout the last 3 days, according to the sources close to the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE). The SLA fired hundreds of artillery shells into Ira'naipaalai and the adjoining areas between the safety zone and PTK junction, the reports further said. Three Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets also bombed Ira'naippaalai thrice on Tuesday, killing seven civilians. At least four of the victims belonged to a single family, according to the initial reports. Civilian casualty figures due to artillery shelling is not yet known.
There are several Internally Displaced Civilians (IDPs) still trapped in Ira'naippaalai and the surrounding areas of PTK, although hundreds of them managed to flee the area on Monday.
On Tuesday morning, 6 civilians were killed inside the safety zone in front of the hospital in Puthumaaththa'lan. The victims were IDPs who had fled Ira'naippaalai on Monday.