5TH LEAD

Colombo steps up air strikes, safe zone targeted 39 times Sunday

[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 April 2009, 06:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) fighter jets bombed Sunday the so-called safety zone where tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge at least 39 times in six sorties so far on Sunday. The indiscriminate bombardment by the Sri Lankan state has been intensified despite the call from the White House on Saturday to stop attacking the 'safety zone' and to stop the fighting immediately. Exact casualty details were not available at the moment. Heavy bombardment by SLAF bombers has caused panic and tension among the civilians, who are facing imminent starvation as Colombo has blocked the shipment of humanitarian supplies facilitated by the ICRC.

Safety zone was attacked 12 times between 7:55 and 8:25 a.m., 3 times between 9:55 and 10:05 a.m., 3 times around 10:25 a.m., 10 times between 10:55 and 11:15 a.m. and at least 3 times around 1:10 p.m. 4 Kfir bombers unloaded several bombs 8 times between 1:45 and 2:15 p.m. Most of the attacks were reported in the southern side of Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal.

14 of the 84 wounded rushed to the hospital in Mu'l'li-vaaykkaal succumbed to the injuries at the makeshift hospital. Death toll is not known.

On Saturday, the SLAF bombers had attacked the zone at least 25 times throughout the day in four sorties. More than 150 wounded civilians were admitted on Saturday, 15 of them died at the hospital, according to medical sources. LTTE-run media in Vanni reported 184 civilian deaths on Saturday.


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