Army, Tamil Tigers trade blame over deadly attack
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Author:  Saman [ Mon May 11, 2009 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Army, Tamil Tigers trade blame over deadly attack

Army, Tamil Tigers trade blame over deadly attack
"More than 2,000 civilians killed in the last 24 hours" - LTTE

May 10, 2009

The Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tigers traded blame today for an artillery attack that reportedly killed hundreds of civilians, with the army accusing the encircled Tamil Tigers of launching the assault to pressure authorities for a truce and the Tigers saying the deaths were further evidence of government atrocities. The attack took place late Saturday and early today when artillery shells were reportedly lobbed into a densely packed area of northern Sri Lanka, resulting in at least 378 civilian deaths, according to the LTTE.

"The LTTE fired mortars indiscriminately into this place," army spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said today. "They fire indiscriminately at civilians because it's the only weapon left them. And they may be forcing doctors to give these kinds of statements." in turn accused the government forces of carrying out the artillery barrage, which it said killed at least 378 people and wounded 814, quoting unidentified medical sources. "More than 2,000 innocent civilians have been killed in the last 24 hours," it said, quoting Selvarajah Pathmanathan, the Tigers' foreign relations intermediary and longtime weapons smuggler wanted by Interpol.

Thileepan Parthipan, a spokesman for the LTTE, who spoke by telephone from what he said was a bunker, agreed that Prabhakaran would never give himself up alive. "He's fighting for his people and is still with us," he said. Reports that the guerrilla leader had fled the conflict zone were army disinformation, he said, adding that people in the area were starving and the international community needed to intervene to prevent a humanitarian disaster. Parthipan denied the Tigers were using civilians as human shields. "You should realize, these are our own mothers, brothers, wives," he said. "It's the army that is using our people as human shields."

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