Civilians flee SLA offensive in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 September 2006, 23:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched artillery shelling towards Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled Forward Defense Line (FDL) in Thenmaradchi Wednesday morning. The artillery attacks have been continuing for 48 hours and have forced hundreds of families to flee from Mirusuvil Educated Women’s Scheme and Usan areas, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

SLA had banned movement along A9 highway following clashes between the SLA troops and the LTTE in mid-August, and families trapped in these areas had sought refuge in the dense jungles of Mannankurichi.

Civilians had only recently moved out into Mirusuvil and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, SLA personnel have prevented the displaced public from using the A9 highway and these civilians had to trek through alternate routes and shrub land to arrive in Vadamaradchi.

SLA troops continue to shell LTTE-controlled areas in Themaradchi from Jaffna Duraiappah Stadium, Kopay and Pallali army fortifications. Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) attacks launched from mobile launching pads aimed towards LTTE - controlled Muhamalai, Palai area have been causing severe damage to infrastructure, and have raised fears that fresh clashes may erupt any time.

The movement of the public has been severely restricted due to the daily curfew in force till 10:00 a.m.

SLA sources confirmed that both sides have been engaged in heavy artillery duels.

Curfew was lifted in Thenmaradchi between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. In Vadamaradhchi and Valikamam, curfew is imposed from 6:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m.


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