While Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Ki’linochchi to boost the morale of his forces, shelling and cannon fire by his troops in Mullaiththeevu district killed more than 57 civilians within the so-called safety zone on Thursday, according to TamilNet correspondent in Vanni. Nearly 1,500 shell explosions were registered by the correspondent as fired by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on Thursday and around 600 of them hit the safety zone while about 150 cannon shots hit the coastline.
Intensive shelling targeted Mu’l’li-vaaykkaal and Iraddai-vaaykkaal between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Pokka’nai area was also attacked by SLA-fired shells.
Exchange of gunfire was continuously reported through out the day
130 civilians were admitted at Puthumaaththa’lan makeshift hospital on Thursday, 107 of them had sustained injuries due to SLA shelling and 23 had sustained gunshot wounds caused by SLA firing. 7 of the patients died after admission. 60 of the wounded were brought to the hospital from Pokka’nai area.
Medical authorities at Puthumaaththa’lan reported that 5 Post operative patients had died at the hospital.
A 13-year-old affected by diarrhoea, a 52-year-old diabetic woman and a 71-year-old male without diagnosis also died at the hospital on Thursday.
More than 300 seriously injured civilians are waiting for ICRC ship for transportation. The ship is expected to arrive on Friday.