40,000 civilians displaced in two days in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 March 2007, 13:09 GMT]
More than 40,000 civilians were displaced within the last 48 hours in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled Paduvankarai area as heavy artillery and Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher fire by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) continued, forcing the civilians to flee from Kokkaddicholai and the surrounding villages. "Batticaloa is experiencing another tragic humanitarian crisis without the attention of the International Community," charged Batticaloa district parliamentarian S. Jeyanandamoorthy. Meanwhile, a third front, opened by the Sri Lankan Special Task Force troopers at Pullumalai, 31 km southwest of Batticaloa, was thwarted by the Tigers, according to the LTTE.

"A massive displacement of civilians is taking place from Kokkaddicholai area as the artillery barrage by the Sri Lankan military from Batticaloa town, Vavunathivu, Chenkalady, Murakkoddanchenai and Kiran continues.

"Artillery has aused severe damage to civilian properties and paddy fields.

"Sri Lankan forces are deliberately targeting civilians under the pretext of fighting the Tigers in Batticaloa district," Mr. Jeyanandamoorthy charged, urging the International Community to exert pressure on Colombo to call off the artillery barrage.

Meanwhile, LTTE military spokesman, speaking from Vanni, charged that Colombo was expanding the theatre of war to the whole island by continuing its policy of war and for openely enganging in a "massive aggression against civilians" in LTTE controlled areas in Batticaloa.

He said the Tigers had defeated the STF troopers who opened a third front Friday from Pullumalai.

The Tigers had recovered 6 bodies of STF troopers and 20 arms including a Rocket Launcher and a heavy machine gun, after thwarting the ground offensive from Pullumalai.

LTTE forces were engaged in a defensive battle for the second day as STF troopers are attempting to capture Unnichchai area.


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