5HT LEAD (PHOTOS)

SLA shells A9 at Mu'rika'ndi

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 September 2008, 08:08 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has launched heavy artillery and Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) fire targeting A9 and the surrounding villages at Mu'rika'ndi from 7:00 a.m. Monday, according to initial reports from the area. At least one civilian was wounded in the artillery barrage and two shops in Mu'rika'ndi junction were destroyed in the shelling. Civilians were fleeing from 55th Mile Post and Ira'naimadu junction where ICRC Ki'linochchi office is located. All traffic on A9 to Oamanthai exit point has been cut off due to the artillery barrage.

Mu'rika'ndi attacked
A family fleeing Mu'rika'ndi junction on A9 with livestock


Heavy fighting is also reported in the interior, west of A9, from 6:00 a.m.

Mur'ika'ndi is located 16 km southwest of Ki'linochchi town.

Many International NGO officials still remain in Vanni as civilians on Friday launched a peaceful protest pleading them to stay with them.

Around 200,000 civilians are displaced in Ki'linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts.

UN spokesman Gordon Weiss told AFP Sunday that the UN had temporarily suspended withdrawing its staff, vehicles and other equipment from Vanni as crowds of men, women and children were protesting outside UN and other international aid agency offices in Ki'linochchi to stop aid workers from leaving.

Sri Lanka's minister for disaster management, Mahinda Samarasinghe, has told media that all foreign aid workers, except the ICRC, should leave the Vanni region by September 29.

Mu'rika'ndi attacked
Two shops were damaged in SLA shelling that targeted Mu'rika'ndi junction


Mu'rika'ndi attacked
Mu'rika'ndi
Mu'rika'ndi attacked
Mu'rika'ndi attacked
A hut destroyed in shellling
Mu'rika'ndi attacked
Civilians fleeing shelling
Mu'rika'ndi attacked
A shop destroyed at Mu'rika'ndi junction


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