SLA shelling kills 82 civilians inside 'safe zone' on Wednesday
[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 March 2009, 23:40 GMT]
Mullaiththeevu Medical Superintend V. Shanmugarajah narrowly escaped Wednesday from Sri Lanka Army fired Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) shells that hit Mu'l'livaaykkaal inside the 'safe zone', and a 7-year-old child was killed in long distance gunfire near the inland waters in Maaththa'lan. Totally, 82 civilians were killed and more than 130 wounded. Civilians who were waiting in queue to receive humanitarian supplies were hit by the MBRL and artillery fire. More than 500 patients were struggling without shelters and medical treatment amidst heavy rains.
Four civilians were wounded in long distance gunfire from across the inland waters.
The MBRL fire by the SLA targeted settlements in Valaignarmadam and Mu'l'livaaykkaal. At least 30 were killed in Mu'l'livaaykkaal and 43 wounded.
13 civilians were killed in the night between Pokka'nai - Valaignarmadam.
Up to Tuesday, within the first ten days of March, the makeshift hospital in Puthumaaththa'lan had received 964 civilian casualties, according to the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS).
"Almost all the cases were victims of intense shelling. A few of the victims were due to the aerial attacks and gunshot injuries. More than 95% of the victims were from the safe area and 40 children and 79 adults died while being taken to the hospital or during the treatment or after having been treated," the RDHS said on Wednesday adding that the patients were struggling to find accommodation at the makeshift-hospital.