Relentless shelling expels civilians from 'safety zone'

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 February 2009, 05:56 GMT]
Thousands of civilians were seen Monday fleeing in all directions from the 'safety zone' as mortar, artillery and Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) rockets hit the entire area demarcated by the Colombo government as safety zone. At least 36 civilians were killed and 76 wounded throughout the day in Va'l'lipunam, Chuthanthirapuram and in Maaththa'lan. The entire 100-houses-scheme located in Chuthanthirapuram was burning following MBRL attack with shells that caused immediate fire.

Civilians fleeing safety zone
Civilians fleeing 'safety zone' further into LTTE held areas


Many had fled the 100-houses-scheme already and the remaining stayed inside the bunkers throughout the barrage. The settlement, initially set up for refugees from Mannaaar, is located on Udaiyaarkaddu Chuthanthirapuram Road.

Several thousand people were fleeing safety zone further into LTTE controlled areas. But, not all have fled the security zone as most of the casualties were reported on the roads on Sunday.

Casualty figures from 100-houses-scheme was not known.

6 civilians were killed and 12 wounded when they were fleeing Chuthanthirapuram and Theavipuram.

4 dead bodies of civilians were brought to Chuthanthirapuram hospital.

At least 16 civilians were killed in Maaththa'lan and 49 were reportedly wounded. Five members of a single family were among the victims, the reports said.

7 civilians, including 3 children, were rushed to hospital with serious burn injuries following the artillery and MBRL barrage.

3 more civilians were killed in Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) attacks and 15 sustained injuries.

Wounded child
A wounded child at a makeshift hospital
Children killed in SLA shelling
Children, sisters, killed in SLA shelling


Slain civilian
A civilian who succumbed to his injuries caused by SLA shelling
Man killed inside bunker
A man killed by a shell that hit the bunker where he had sought refuge


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