Sri Lankan attacks kill 208 civilians within 72 hours
[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 March 2009, 12:33 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fired artillery-fitted cluster shells hit several IDP settlements within the 'safety zone', claiming the lives of at least 53 civilians Saturday until 3:00 p.m. Around 112 civilians sustained injuries. On Friday, 86 civilians were killed and more than 100 civilians were wounded. Dead bodies were not brought to the hospital as shelling continued. Thousands of civilians within the 'safety zone' were forced to remain inside the bunkers. 69 civilians were killed on Thursday in the indiscriminate shelling and Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombardments. More than 330 civilians have been wounded within the last 3 days.
Artillery shells with cluster-bomblets exploded Saturday Ampalavanpokka'ani and Maaththa'lan. Artillery shells have hit a few bunkers killing civilians inside the bunkers. Shells also hit Mu'l'livaaykkaal and Iraddaivaaykkaal. Ira'naippaalai, outside the 'safety zone' is under continuous barrage. Casualty details were not available from Ira'naippaalai.
On Saturday, Shells exploded 500 meters away from the hospital. Two of the civilians, who were waiting to register themselves with the GS (Village Officer) in order to receive humanitarian supplies at a location between Maaththa'lan and Ampalavanpokka'nai, were also killed in the shelling.
On Thursday, 31 civilians were killed at Aananthapuram in I'ranaippaalai in SLAF bombardment and SLA shelling. Two bombers dropped 8 times in two rounds throughout the day.
Sasi Mathan, 27, Mullaiththeevu District Distribution Manager of Eezhanaatham Daily, the only newspaper published in LTTE controlled territory, was among the victims at Aananthapuram. He is a native of Mu'l'liyava'lai.
Four civilians were killed Thursday when SLA shelling targeted an area where government vehicles were parked was also subjected to shell attack at Valaignarmadam.
A fire-bomb shell claimed the lives of 4 more civilians in Pokka'nai on Thursday.
Around 30 civilians were killed in the remaining places, including Mu'l'livaaykkaal on Thursday.
The SLA also fired from Chaalai using long-range machine guns into the sea on Thursday. At least one bullet hit the ICRC ship, according to informed sources.