42 civilians killed, 80 wounded in Vanni Saturday
[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 March 2009, 04:17 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) fired artillery shells into the 'safety zone', also on Saturday, killing 42 civilians and causing injuries to around 80 civilians, including a GS (Village officer), initial reports from Vanni said Saturday. Meanwhile, the SLA and Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) were using heavy explosives in their clashes with the LTTE defensive units in Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK) area. At least 7 civilians who ventured into Iranaippaalai to collect coconuts were reported killed in SLAF air strike.
SLAF bombers were engaged in bombing Ira'naippaalai area at least five times on Saturday.
The SLA was avoiding direct confrontations and was relying upon heavy use of artillery barrage and the fire support of the SLAF, according to the sources close to the LTTE.
On Friday, SLA soldiers attempted to advance in Ira'naippaalai following heavy artillery barrage and air attacks, but were forced withdraw leaving behind dead bodies and military hardware, the Tigers said claiming that at least 20 SLA soldiers were killed and 120 sustained injuries in the confrontation.