3RD LEAD

SLA in killing spree in the 'safety zone', 73 killed, 160 wounded

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 March 2009, 02:55 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army fired artillery shells and air attacks by the Sri Lanka Air Force have claimed the lives of at least 73 civilians, most of them inside 'safety zone' on Tuesday in Mullaiththevu district, according to the details from medical and local aid workers in the district. More than 160 civilians have sustained injuries. Around 35 cluster-fitted artillery shells were fired within the last 3 days. 15 cluster shells were fired into civilian areas Tuesday alone. 11 children below age 10 have been killed, 4 in the morning, 5 in the night and one of the two children missing in morning was later identified as the child's mother recovered a fragment of its head. Maaththa'lan hospital was full of weeping mothers who were begging the doctors to save their wounded children from death.

The hospital is struggling to cope with the situation without enough medicine as shelling continued throughout Tuesday night.

Recently, a woman was rushed to Maaththa'lan hospital from Pokka'nai with a cluster bomblet in unexploded state inside her leg, according to the doctors, who had to amputate her leg to save her life.

Several children have sustained injuries in cluster explosions.

People identify cluster explosions when they hear a different kind of blast than that of an artillery shell or mortar shell, followed by a spider like blast pattern with fireworks like noise.

33 civilians were killed in Maaththa'lan area. At least 16 of them were killed near the makeshift-hospital. Four of the slain victims were children below age 10. They were identified as 1-year-old I. Nilaxan, 6-year-old R. Nishanthan, 9-year-old N. Kasthoori and 10-year-old R. Thiresan.

A teacher of Kumizhamunai school, Mohan Tharshika, was also among the killed.

At least 15 civilians were slain in Pokk'ani area close to the lagoon-side on Tuesday.

More than 18 civilians were killed in Iranaippaalai.

At least 4 civilians were killed in Mu'l'iivaaykkaal.

SLAF bombers also attacked Chaalai in the morning and Ira'naippaalai in the evening around 4:30 p.m.

Children slain in SLA shelling in Maaththa'lan
Children slain in SLA shelling in Maaththa'lan


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