Civilians caught in retaliatory shelling

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 August 1998, 18:42 GMT]
Two infants, aged one and two years, were killed and seven people were injured when the Special Task Force (STF) based at the Kalavanchikudi camp, shelled the villages of Poraitheevu, Munaitheevu and Palukamam, 20 km south-west of Batticaloa, on Thursday around 8:00 p.m., said sources in Batticaloa. The mother of dead infants was among the injured.

The villages are in areas held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The infants, Hindusan (2) and Sathursan (1), bled to death after the STF at the Paddiruppu bridge refused permission for the injured to be taken across to government held areas for treatment, said sources.

When the injured were eventually allowed to be taken across the bridge on Friday morning, they were first admitted to the Kalawanchikudi Hospital and then transferred to the Batticaloa Hospital.

Amongst the wounded are Thangamma (27) mother of the two dead infants, K. Sothimalar (22), M. Vairamuththu (34) and K. Sivasundari (33), a married couple, and brothers Srikankth (15) and Rajanikanth (17).

The shelling, which lasted around three hours, is believed to be in retaliation, following a clash on Thursday afternoon between the LTTE and STF at the Paddiruppu bridge that spans the lagoon near the villages.

Three houses were also badly damaged in the shelling, said sources.


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