SLA attacks kill 88 Tamils, including 21 children on Monday
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 31 March 2009, 16:17 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) shelling on Monday claimed the lives of 70 civilians as Fifty Caliber gunfire from the SLA positions across the lagoon also killed 18 civilians on the road, which links the makeshift hospital with IDP settlements. 21 of the slain victims and 31 of 156 wounded civilians were children. 63 tarpaulin huts were destroyed in SLA attacks. TamilNet correspondent witnessed that four children were orphaned as they lost both their parents and siblings. The civilians were struggling to take their wounded to the hospital as the entire stretch of the road has come under 50 Caliber machine gun fire. Four civilians, including a worker of the fishing union that arranges boats to transport the patients from the coastal point Thidal to the ICRC ship, were wounded in SLA gunfire.
The ICRC ship to transport the patients didn't come close to the shore since it came under gunfire last time. The patients had to be transferred by boats under very difficult circumstances to the ship. ICRC officials who arrived in the ship were not able to reach the shore due to the attacks.
59 of the victims were killed within the three areas of Iraddaivaaykkaal, Mu'l'livaaykkaal and Valiagnarmadam.
9 civilians were killed when a shell hit the road between Valaignarmadam and Iraddaivaaykkaal.
The shelling continued throughout the day. Several huts along the road were destroyed or blown away in SLA shelling.
6 minor shops along the road were destroyed. 3 of the slain victims were owners of these shops.
Seven of 18 civilians killed on the road were not identified. The unidentified bodies were relocated for identification by the volunteers of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO).
39 of the victims including 17 women, 9 children, 1 baby and 8 elderly, killed in Valaignarmadam and Mu'l'livaaykkaal area were buried by their relatives.