Red Cross confirms Puthukkudiyiruppu massacre
[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 September 1999, 04:33 GMT]
A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that sixteen civilians were killed on the spot and six who were seriously wounded died in the hospital when Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) jets bombed a busy market place in the morning yesterday in northern Sri Lanka.
"It is with deep regret and concern that we confirm the death of 21 civilians consequent to the air strike in Puthukkudiyiruppu yesterday. We deplore the fact that the air strike was in a civilian area," ICRC spokesman Harasha Gunawardana said when contacted by TamilNet this morning about the SLAF bombing in Puthtukkudiyiruppu in the Mullaithivu district.
The sub-delegation of the ICRC in Puthukkudiyiruppu is less than two kilometers from the market place which was bombed yesterday.
Mr.Gunwardana said that the ICRC provided emergency dressing material, IVs etc., to the Puthtukkudiyiruppu hospital.
Meanwhile, a Tamil politician in Colombo said that the SLAF attack on the civilian target appeared to be in retaliation to the heavy losses suffered last Sunday by the Sri Lanka army north of Mannar.
He pointed out that civilian targets have been bombed by the SLAF in past following major set backs in the war against the Liberation Tigers.
According to independent sources, 138 Sri Lanka army personnel, including two officers, were killed and 902 were wounded when the Liberation Tigers counter attacked a major offensive by government forces named Operation Rana
Gosa 5 on Sunday, Sept.12.