SLAF bombs Puthukkudiyiruppu in Vanni

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 October 2007, 21:30 GMT]
Five Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir bombers dropped more than twenty four bombs in two sorties Friday morning, targeting civilian settlements in Vea'naavil and surrounding areas, sources in Vanni said.

The first aerial bombardment involving three aircrafts began at 8.15 am and lasted till 8:35a.m. At least 12 bombs were dropped during the attack and they exploded around the huts in the area causing extensive damages to the residences as well as destroying agricultural lands and a number of trees.

No civilian causalities were reported.

Within a space of five minutes of the first three aircrafts leaving the air space, two other Kfir jets began circling the skies above Puthukkudiyiruppu and began bombing that lasted from 8:40 a.m. till 8:50 a.m.

More than 8 bombs were dropped during this attack, eye witnesses said.

After the two air attacks, reconnaissance jets were seen circling above till 10:00 a.m

Since Puthukkudiyiruppu is a densely populated area, there were heavy civilian movements at the time of the air attack. More than 3000 students were attending the five schools -Puthukkudiyiruppu Central College, Kaiveali Ganesha Vidyalayam, Vea'naavil Murugananthaa Government mixed school, Sri Subramaniam Vidyalayam, Puthukkudiyiruppu Roman Catholic school-located in the targeted area, at the time of the attack.

The students scattered in panic when the bombing began, local residents said.

Five civilians including three children were injured when SLAF bombers attacked Puthukkudiyiruppu in Vanni Tuesday, 16 October 2007.

On September 21, a copy of an appeal was handed over to Mullaitheevu Zonal Education Director, P. Ariyaratnam, by the Principals Association President, S. Raveenthirarajah, and its Secretary, S. Subramaiyeswaran, stating that the students are fear stricken by continued bombardments in the near vicinity of schools and civilian settlements in Puthukkudiyiruppu during school times. Mr.Ariyaratnam subsequently handed over copies of the appeal at the offices of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) office in Puthukkuddiyiruppu and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR ) requesting them to intervene to stop the indiscriminate bombings by SLAF and ensure that the students continue their studies without interruption.

However, the Defence officials of Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) ignoring the appeals of the Non Governmental Organization (NGOs) has increased the frequency of the aerial attacks in close proximity of area schools, concerned residents said.

SLAF reconnaissance aircrafts have recently increased their night missions above the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) controlled Vanni region.

Tension continues to prevail in Puthukkudiyiruppu due to continued aerial attacks in Vanni


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