Unprecedented carnage, SLA turns firepower on civilian zone
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 April 2009, 05:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Wednesday morning turned its artillery, mortar, 40 mm cannon, Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) and gunfire ranging from 50 caliber machine guns to LMG fire into the so-called safety zone, causing a carnage within a short period of time between 7:40 and 10:40 a.m. killing and maiming hundreds of civilians, according to the latest update by TamilNet correspondent in Vanni reporting from the area under attack. Civilians were struggling to transport the wounded to the hospital and many of the injured were lying along the roadside as gunfire and artillery barrage by the SLA continues. "It is impossible to assess casualty details, but at least 180 civilians are feared killed within 3 hours in the area between Mu'l'livaaykkaal to Pokka'nai."
The wounded civilians who attempt to move towards the hospital whenever they sense a break between the attacks, are getting blocked by targeted gunfire from SLA positions from the outer perimeter of the so-called No-Fire / Safety zone.
"The seriously wounded civilians are dying as their transport has been blocked by the SLA firing on medical transport carrying white flags. The casualty figures are expected to rise," said TamilNet correspondent. As he was filing this report, SLA gunners shot a man who was trying to transport a wounded victim while holding a white flag. "He was badly injured in his head."
"On another incident, 9 wounded civilians who were being transported in tractor from Mu'l'livaaykkaal, carrying white flag, were killed when a shell fired by the SLA landed on the tractor."
"Many wounded civilians are lying along the sides of the road, awaiting help." The dead were being buried on the spot.
"There are civilians lying dead and wounded inside their tarpaulin shelters, said civilians arriving from Valaignarmadam," TamilNet correspondent said, reporting amidst shelling and gunfire.
"Thousands of civilians are lying on open terrain, as there are not enough bunkers in the area between Valignarmadam and Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal, that has come under SLA barrage."
"Almost all the bunkers are open bunkers and those who remain inside them are experiencing untold trauma as the 'no fire zone' has been turned into 'fire zone' by the SLA."
The SLA was firing artillery from all the corners, from Mu'l'liyavazhai, Nedungkea'ni, Oddichuddaan, Puthukkudiyiruppu, Theavipuram and Chaalai.
RPGs, 40 mm cannons and 50 caliber guns were targeting the road from Puthumaaththa'lan hospital to Mu'l'livaaykkaal.
The confrontation between the LTTE and the SLA was taking place in the outer perimeter and at one of the last bunds close to the gateway to the so-called safety zone. After heavy fighting along the frontiers, the SLA turned its firepower onto the civilians.
People have not eaten anything since Tuesday evening.
"There are no words to describe the plight of the children," concluded TamilNet correspondent in his update filed at 10:40 a.m. local time.
Meanwhile, medical sources at Puthumaaththa'lan makeshift hospital said they only received 38 wounded and said 12 more wounded were dead when their relatives managed to bring them to the hospital.