Casualties cross 1000 in SLA's attempt to capture civilians
[TamilNet, Monday, 20 April 2009, 13:18 GMT]
Hundreds of dead bodies and wounded civilians were still lying in Maaththa'lan and Pokka'nai, and more than 600 seriously wounded have been brought to a makeshift hospital functioning at a school in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal in LTTE held area throughout Monday, TamilNet correspondent reports from Vanni. The correspondent personally witnessed nearly 300 dead bodies while fleeing from the area. Cluster shells and smoke or white-dust-emitting shells that made people to faint were widely deployed on civilians by the Sri Lanka Army in its effort to capture them. However, a large majority of the civilians fled towards LTTE held areas while around 8,000 were trapped and captured by the SLA.
Several dead and wounded were lying along the roads in Maaththa'lan and Pokka'nai
Only 60 wounded went to the hospital at Puthumaaththa'lan, which is almost not functioning at the moment. The hospital at Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal comes under Mullaiththeevu Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS).
By Monday afternoon, the SLA was pushed back from parts of the civilian areas it had boxed earlier in the day.
However, civilians fear waves of attacks similar to the one on Monday to follow in the forthcoming days.
The exact condition of the civilians captured by the SLA is not known.
Meanwhile, schools in Northern Province scheduled to start after term holidays on Tuesday were ordered by Colombo not to be re-opened until further orders. It is speculated that the SL government plans to accommodate captured civilians in the schools.
The makeshift hospital at Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal is full of casualties. TamilNet correspondent witnessed more than 600 wounded Monday afternoon. Several more wounded are being brought in the evening.