Fear mounts in costal villages of Jaffna lagoon

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 June 2008, 13:19 GMT]
Shells across Jaffna lagoon from Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held areas fell and exploded Tuesday morning on Sri Lanka Army (SLA) bases and sentry points located in the coastal villages of Jaffna lagoon causing panic also among the residents, sources in Jaffna said. Large number of additional soldiers were brought from other areas in Jaffna peninsula and posted along the coastal line of the lagoon from Jaffna Fort to Ariyaalai during the last couple of days.

All schools were closed before noon and children sent home safely.

Information on casualties or injuries is yet to be known.

The residents of Kurunakar, Paasaiyoor, Kozhumpuththu'rai and Ariyaalai, the coastal villages along Jaffna lagoon, within the limits of Jaffna Municipal Council, are gripped in fear due to the shelling and the heavy presence of armed soldiers among them.

A similar shelling immediately after the Chi'ruththeevu Sea Tiger raid on Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) recently had killed six and injured fifteen of the residents of these villages.

This had triggered displacement of families to other areas in the Jaffna peninsula but those displaced had gradually returned to their homes when normalcy returned.

Tuesday's heavy shelling and the intimidating presence of a large number of soldiers accompanied by military paraphernalia evoking an atmosphere of war aggravate fear among the residents of the coastal villages.

Most of the residents in these villages are contemplating moving out of their homes to safer areas, the sources said.


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