SLA buildup poses severe threat to civilian security within 'safety zone'
[TamilNet, Saturday, 11 April 2009, 15:46 GMT]
The security of the main route running along the lagoon, linking the various villages of the safety zone within the stretch between Maaththa'lan to Valaignarmadam, has been compromised by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) buildup since Friday. At some points, the SLA has put up military posts 200 meters closer to the road. The SLA was seen heavily engaged in positioning its troops, eyewitnesses said Saturday. 16 of the 38 civilian victims killed on Friday had succumbed to injuries caused by gunfire in Valaignarmadam and Pokka'nai areas as SLA snipers shot at civilians inside the safety zone.
Thursday was the worst day of shelling on Pokka'nai. Photo shows wounded civilians at Puthumaaththa'lan hospital.
72 civilians were killed on Friday, 26 of them had succumbed to gunfire wounds.
A makeshift-road between the shore and the compromised road along the lagoon-side was being used for civilian movement. Vehicular movement has become severely affected due to the floods and the prevailing security threat.
Thursday was the worst day inside the safety zone. The makeshift hospital at Puthumaaththa'lan reported that it received 324 injured civilians. Many of the victims were injured in SLA shelling and a few due to gunshot injury. 49 civilians died after admission. The casualty figures were much higher than what was reported by the medical sources as many of the dead were not brought to the hospital.
Wounded civilians being rushed to makeshift hospital
A section of the wounded at Puthumaaththa'lan hospital
IDP huts and bunkers are flooded following heavy rains