SLA fired artillery shells hit school, 13 refugees wounded

[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 December 2006, 06:29 GMT]
Thirteen refugees, including a 4-year-old child, were wounded when Sri Lanka Army fired artillery shells hit a school in Paalchenai, 8 km north of Vaharai Saturday, around 11:20 a.m., as SLA intensified a ground offensive from Eachilampattu, via A15 trunk road towards Verugal, 15 km northwest of Vakarai amid indiscriminate artillery barrage. Nine wounded refugees from the school where IDP families were staying, were rushed to Vaharai hospital, medical sources said. Heavy fighting was reported between Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka Army at Eachilamapattu.

Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were displaced from Trincomalee district to Vaharai when Sri Lanka Army launched a major offensive on Sampoor.

The offensive on Sampoor, justified by Colombo, as necessary to safeguard the Trincomalee naval base from LTTE artillery fire, continued on Vaharai after the capture of Sampoor on September 04, despite LTTE assurances to Norwegian facilitators of not initiating new offensives.

The biggest military offensive by the SLA after the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002, imposing an econoimic blockade on 40 000 civllians in the region and denying access to NGOs and closing down the gateways, has continued for more than two months.

Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission has been denied access to the area by Colombo.

Limited food supplies were allowed into the region, after International humanitarian pressure on Colombo.

The Sri Lankan military, by engaging in a major military offensive in Trincomalee and Batticaloa, aiming to isloate the LTTE forces in the east from Vanni, has nullified chances for renewed hopes of ceasefire amid the Norwegian facilitators efforts to implement the CFA in bringing parties to talks in Geneva in February and October this year.


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