|Death of over 60 youths in Chencholai - August 14, 2006
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|Author:||Peter [ Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:22 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Death of over 60 youths in Chencholai - August 14, 2006|
Lankan raid kills 43 schoolkids - LTTE
Bombed School Was Rebel Base - Sri Lanka
Monday, August 14, 2006 (Colombo):
A pro-rebel Web site reported that Sri Lankan jets on Monday bombed a children's home in the country's rebel-held northeast, killing 43 schoolgirls who were there taking a first aid course.
An additional 60 girls were wounded in the air raid on the home in the Mullaitivu district, which lies deep inside territory controlled by the Tamil Tigers, the TamilNet Web site reported, citing rebel officials.
Government officials were not immediately available to comment on the report, which could not be independently verified. (AP)
|Author:||Peter [ Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:26 pm ]|
|Post subject:||50 schoolgirls killed in government air strikes: LTTE|
50 schoolgirls killed in government air strikes: LTTE
© Copyright 2006 India eNews
Colombo, Aug 14 (DPA) At least 50 schoolgirls were killed and 60 injured Monday when Sri Lankan air force jets bombed a children's home in a northeastern town, Tamil rebels claimed.
Rebels briefing journalists said the air strikes were in the Mullaitivu district, 360 km northeast of Colombo, the pro-rebel website Tamilnet reported.
However, there was no independent confirmation of the incident.
Tamilnet said the schoolchildren were attending a two-day course on first aid at the Chencholai Children's Home in Vallipunam when the attack took place.
'Ambulances are rushing the wounded, many of whom are bleeding badly, to hospitals,' the report quoted the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as saying.
The rebels called upon the UN's children's agency, UNICEF, and the international Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission, which is overseeing the 2002 ceasefire between the rebels and the government, to visit the site.
The incident comes as the fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels have intensified in the past weeks in northern Sri Lanka.
|Author:||Peter [ Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:55 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Sri Lanka: Bombed School Was Rebel Base|
Sri Lanka: Bombed School Was Rebel Base
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG
@ Washington Post / The Associated Press
Monday, August 14, 2006
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Fighting between the government and Tamil insurgents and a suicide bombing killed dozens Monday, including youths at what the rebels said was a school and the government insisted was an insurgent base.
The clashes along the frontiers dividing government and rebel territory in the north and east, and the blast in Colombo appeared to dash hope for a quick end to fighting that has worsened over the past month, undermining an already shaky cease-fire.
The 2002 truce was intended to halt more than two decades of bloodshed between the government, dominated by Sri Lanka's 14 million Sinhalese, and the rebels, who have been fighting since 1983 for an independent homeland for the country's 3.2 million Tamils.
In fighting Monday, Sri Lankan air force jets bombed the northeastern Mullaitivu district, deep inside rebel territory.
The pro-rebel TamilNet Web site, citing officials from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, reported that 61 girls who were studying there were killed and another 60 were injured.
However, Air Force spokesman Group Capt. Ajantha Silva said the military had proof that the site was a rebel base.
An official from a Nordic cease-fire monitoring team, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said the site appeared to be a home for 17- to 20-year-old students.
The official said a monitor who visited the site saw 19 bodies at a nearby hospital but believed more were killed.
Hours later in Colombo, a suicide bomber in an auto rickshaw blew himself up as a car carrying Pakistan's high commissioner, Basir Ali Mohmand, passed along a crowded road. At least seven people were killed, including four army commandos guarding the envoy, the government said. Another 10 people were wounded in the bombing less than a mile from the residence of President Mahinda Rajapakse.
But the diplomat, who was believed to be the target of the blast, escaped unhurt. Pakistan is a major supplier of arms to Sri Lanka's military, and the Tigers were suspected in the attack.
Tamil Tiger officials were not immediately available to comment, although in recent months they have often kept quiet after such attacks, neither confirming nor denying involvement.
Pakistan said it was the first attack on any of its diplomats in Sri Lanka.
A day earlier, at least 15 people died in fighting around the St. Philip Neri Church in Allaiiddy, a predominantly Tamil village located on an island just west of the Jaffna Peninsula. The island, like the peninsula, is held by the government.
TamilNet said the dead were civilians killed when government artillery and rocket fire hit the church, where they were sheltering. While TamilNet stopped short of saying government forces intentionally targeted the church, it alleged that no help was sent to the wounded for hours.
But the military countered that guerrillas in the church fired on troops as they tried to enter the building, and that the civilians were killed in the fighting.
The latest round of fighting began in late July over a rebel-controlled water supply near the eastern port of Trincomalee, and had in recent days spread to other parts of the east and the Jaffna Peninsula, the scene of intense fighting during Sri Lanka's two-decade-long civil war.
|Author:||Peter [ Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:25 am ]|
|Post subject:||Mystery surrounds death of over 60 youths in Mullaitivu|
Mystery surrounds death of over 60 youths in Mullaitivu
Those killed were young rebel cadres at training centre - Govt
Youth were orphans of a school in the area - LTTE
A community leader from Kilinochchi however claimed the target which was attacked by the air force was not an orphanage as claimed by the LTTE but was in fact one of many civilian training camps run by the rebels. “The school girls were taken to the camp and given arms training. They were not fully fledged soldiers. They were however been given arms training like most civilians are in LTTE areas when the air force bombed it,” he said.
@ DM 15 Aug 2006
By Easwaran Rutnam
Mystery surrounds the death of more than 60 youths and serious injuries caused to more than 130 others in LTTE controlled Paranthan in Mullaitivu last morning.
The LTTE said the young girls and boys were orphans of a school in the area and were killed in air force bombing while the government said those killed were young rebel cadres.
The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said the air force conducted air strikes around 7.30 last morning on an LTTE training base at Puthukudiyurippu in Mullaitivu previously identified by air surveillance.
“Between 50 and 60 young LTTE terrorist cadres were killed and many were injured. The LTTE has continuously denied reports by the UN agencies such as UNHCR and UNICEF of inhuman child conscripts,” MCNS said.
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and UNICEF officials meanwhile visited the site to start investigations over the incident after the LTTE had formally raised the issue with the ceasefire monitors.
SLMM spokesman Thorfinnur Omarsson said those killed appeared to be ordinary young persons around the ages of 17 and 20 who had been killed in two locations following the aerial bombardments.
The SLMM monitors who visited the site have said it was clearly a civilian location but at the same time the geography of the area was such that it is ideal to conduct arms training so the monitors were unable to clearly state if the location was purely a school or rebel training facility.
According to eyewitnesses 4 Kfir jets bombed the area and the SLMM was able to note some 12 to 15 bombs in the area while 19 bodies were either taken to nearby hospitals or to the homes of relatives.
Civilian sources in Kilinochchi confirmed that several of the injured children were rushed to hospitals in the rebel stronghold but were unable to verify the extent of injuries and the exact number of casualties.
A community leader from Kilinochchi however claimed the target which was attacked by the air force was not an orphanage as claimed by the LTTE but was in fact one of many civilian training camps run by the rebels.
“The school girls were taken to the camp and given arms training. They were not fully fledged soldiers. They were however been given arms training like most civilians are in LTTE areas when the air force bombed it,” he said.
However LTTE military wing spokesman Illentheriyan told the Daily Mirror the area that came under air force bombardment was an area selected by humanitarian groups for their projects as it was away from locations that usually come under military fire.
“The school was located in this area so the government cannot claim its was an area where LTTE camps were being operated,” Mr. Illentheriyan vowing to retaliate for the “barbaric crime.”
According to the LTTE the young girls killed were said to be orphaned girls sitting their GCE ordinary level and advanced level examinations and were undergoing first aid training when they came under attack.
Government officials have often claimed the LTTE was using civilians as cover for their terrorist operations but Mr. Illentheriyan strongly rejected such assumptions and questioned the right for anyone to make such claims.
“Who is occupying civilian homes in the north claiming it as high security zones? Who is putting a curfew in Jaffna and not letting civilians leave the area when there is a conflict going on in the area? Under normal circumstances the civilians should have been let to leave before a curfew was imposed. The civilians in Jaffna are now human targets. You should ask these questions from the government,” Mr. Illentheriyan asserted.
The latest attach came just hours after fighting around St. Philip Neri Church in Allaipiddy left some 15 people killed and another 34 wounded, 20 of them seriously, when it was hit on Sunday by rocket and artillery fire from a government position on the peninsula.
Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa however denied the claim that the air force had targeted a civilian orphanage in Mullaitivu saying instead only identified selected rebel locations were attacked.
“After Mawilaru the LTTE has continuously attacked our security forces. We have been forced to take defensive measures to protect civilians and their establishments,” the Minister said adding that the Jaffna curfew was also necessary for the safety of the civilians of the area.
Minister Yapa stressed that the government had no intention of derailing the peace process but will continue to retaliate any LTTE offensives in the interest of national security
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