The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Sri Lanka hospital attacked again

ICRCThe Red Cross in Sri Lanka says a hospital in territory held by the Tamil Tigers has been shelled again.

A health worker told the BBC that six people were injured in the attack on the hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu town in Mullaitivu district.

Aid workers say the hospital was hit three times over the weekend, with nine people killed. The government says it is not responsible.

It has told civilians to leave the area where it is fighting the Tamil Tigers.

‘Decisive stage’

Puthukkudiyiruppu is situated in an enclave held by the rebels and is home to tens of thousands of civilians.

The hospital is one of the last functioning health facilities in the area.

The BBC’s Anbarasan Ethirajan in Colombo says health workers reported six injuries when a ward was hit by shellfire on Monday. They say the casualty figure could have been higher if patients had not taken cover.

In an earlier attack, the UN said, the shells hit a crowded paediatric unit. At least nine people were killed in the firing, the Red Cross said.

It is not clear who fired them, with pro-rebel websites blaming the army for the attacks, and the military denying any role.

In a statement, the government said fighting in the north-east was at a “decisive stage” and that it could not guarantee civilians’ safety in the area.

Separately, the army said it had found an underground bunker complex it believed was a home of the top leader of the Tamil Tigers.

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The two-storey-deep bunker was found hidden in a coconut plantation in Mullaitivu district during fighting on Monday, the army said.

The ministry said the bunker had electricity generators, air conditioning and medical supplies.

There was no sign of the rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The Sri Lankan government has told civilians to leave the area of fighting in the north-east but it is unclear how tens of thousands of civilians can escape.

Sri Lanka’s military says it has designated a safe zone for civilians in a 32 sq km buffer zone on the A-35 main road which links Paranthan and Mullaitivu.

The safe zone is inside a gradually shrinking rebel enclave north of Mullaitivu.

Aid workers say that, in recent days, shells have fallen into the zone and people have been killed there. Both sides deny being responsible for firing into the area.

The Sri Lankan military said there had been more heavy fighting on Monday, with two rebel leaders critically wounded.

There is no independent confirmation of the claim – journalists are not able to reach the front lines.

The army offensive has pushed the rebels into a 300 sq km (110 sq mile) corner of jungle.

Aid agencies say up to 250,000 civilians are in the area.

The government says the number is closer to 120,000. It accuses the Tamil Tigers of not allowing civilians to leave, saying they are being used as human shields.

The rebels say the civilians prefer to stay where they are under rebel “protection”.

Source: BBC News


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