Dead bodies decomposed beyond identification - medical authorities

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 January 2009, 09:06 GMT]
Initial reports emerging from Udaiyaarkaddu hospital as the ICRC representatives came out of their bunkers and started helping the medical authorities said that many dead bodies of civilians that were not buried so far have become decomposed beyond identification. 3 shells exploded near the hospital as late as 1:40 p.m. Tuesday. There have been 2 fresh killings in artillery fire and at least 8 wounded were brought in Tuesday's shelling. There has been no sign of additional medical help coming into the region, the officials said.

Pockets of overcrowded civilian population have been separated without communication for many hours and there are many people who were searching for their family members and relatives.

Asked about the fighting, the medical staff said they heard distant gunfire in between. The SLA was using maximum artillery fire power even when the resistance by the Tigers was very low, they said. The SLA was firing artillery, completely unprovoked, into the 'safety zone'.

The Government Agent of Mullaiththeevu District, Imelda Sugumar, when contacted by TamilNet Monday night said she was told by the authorities to instruct all of them to either move into the 'safety zone' or get out of the war zone. Even the staff of Puthukkudyiruppu hospital, the only hospital functioning in its original building, were ordered to go inside the 'safey zone' before the end of Tuesday.

Meanwhile, TRO officials who were coordinating their volunteers who were engaged in helping the civilians, said they had helped a number of civilians to bury their dead with whatever identification that was available with the corpses, covering the documentation as much as possible with plastic bags. The TRO vounteers have also provided first aid to a number of civilian victims.

As the only NGO active among the people, the TRO has also been struggling to deliver bread and cooked food to the civilians with their limited facilities, they said.


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