2ND LEAD (UPDATE)
Scores wounded in Sri Lankan bombardment on displacing civilians
[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 January 2009, 14:37 GMT]
The three armed forces of Sri Lanka have carried out a joint indiscriminate bombardment from air, land and sea targeting the civilians who were displacing from Vadamaraadchi East villages to Vanni mainland, causing injuries to at least 40 civilians, initial reports from the area said. The attack has targeted civilians who have come to Chu'ndikku'lam lagoon to cross over to Vanni mainland as the land route has been occupied by the Sri Lanka Army following the occupation of Elephant Pass. Medical authorities at Kallaa'ru said they were struggling to transport the wounded. Ambulances at Tharmapuram hospital were sent to Kallaa'ru in Chu'ndikku'lam.
First air strike took place around 10:30 a.m. when two bombers dropped bombs at least four times.
SLA stepped up Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) fire on civilians moving from Vadamaraadchi East. The SLA continued artillery attacks for hours as Sri Lanka Navy gunboats also fired at the coastal stretch.
The indiscriminate bombardment also targeted access routes towards Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) held areas of Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi districts, causing panic among the civilians who were on the move. Ambulances were struggling to transport the wounded.
Exact casualty details are yet to be reported by the medical authorities.