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Tamil civilian casualty numbers grow…

May 11, 2009

** Reports from within the conflict zone **
1200 bodies counted, hundreds seriously injured, aerial bombing continues

Read full report from the ground here.

AlJazeera – ‘Hundreds dead’ in Sri Lanka attack

The Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels have blamed each other for an artillery attack in the country’s northeastern conflict zone that reportedly killed more than 370 civilians.

Dr V. Shanmugarajah, a government physician working in a makeshift hospital in the conflict zone, said he had counted the bodies of 378 civilians after an all-night assault that lasted until the early hours of Sunday.

ABC – More civilian deaths in Sri Lanka – Radio National Breakfast

The civil war in Sri Lanka has claimed more innocent lives. An estimated 378 civilians were killed and over 1,000 injured in heavy shelling in the country’s north. The attacks took place inside the designated civilian safety zone in the past 24 hours. Health officials working in the conflict zone have told the BBC they think the shells came from territory held by the Sri Lankan army. But the Sri Lankan military blames the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Independent : Day of slaughter in Sri Lanka blamed on government guns

The bitter endgame of Sri Lanka’s civil war may have provided its bloodiest day yet after 378 civilians trapped inside the conflict zone were reportedly killed by a barrage of government artillery. A further 1,100 civilians were said to have been wounded.

New York Times : Doctor Reports 378 Dead in Sri Lanka

A government doctor in Sri Lanka’s war zone said Sunday that 378 civilians were killed and more than 1,100 wounded in the past day during intensive shelling of the tiny piece of land still controlled by Tamil rebels.

The Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tiger rebels traded accusations over who was responsible for the shelling, which the government doctor, V. Shanmugarajah, said was the worst carnage he had witnessed in the Sri Lankan military’s intensifying campaign to wipe out the rebels.

ABC : Sri Lankan shelling kills 378

Health officials working near the front line in Sri Lanka say heavy shelling in the newly-designated civilian safety zone has killed hundreds of civilians in the past 24 hours.

CNN – Sri Lanka denies claims civilians hit by shelling

Sri Lankan officials on Sunday disavowed rebel claims that government troops had indiscriminately shelled a no-fire zone, killing many civilians Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The accusations came after the government announced Thursday that it had “re-demarcated” the no-fire zone to encompass a new area 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long and 1.5 kilometers (0.9 mile) wide. Earlier, the zone had encompassed more than 6 square kilometers (3.7 square miles).

Times Online : Artillery attack kills 378 civilians in Sri Lanka safe haven

A massive artillery barrage in a safe haven set up in Sri Lanka’s conflict zone killed at least 378 civilians overnight, according to a government doctor.

The doctor, V. Shanmugarajah, called it the bloodiest attack he had witnessed in the fight against the Tamil Tigers and said that he feared many more had been killed as some bodies were being buried on the spot.

AFP : LTTE says Lankan forces killed 2000 civilians; Govt denies

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday accused the government of killing more than 2,000 civilians in 24 hours of artillery attacks, but the military denied the allegations.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said in a statement posted on the Tamilnet website that the army had unleashed a devastating offensive on the small coastal patch of land that the rebels still control.

PTI – LTTE says Lankan forces killed 2,000 civilians; Govt denies

The LTTE today accused Sri Lankan forces of killing over 2,000 civilians in shelling during the last 24 hours in the “safe zone” in the embattled north, a charge refuted as “propaganda” by the government.

The pro-Tigers website ‘Tamilnet’ quoted S Pathmanathan, head of the LTTE’s international relations, as alleging that Sri Lankan security forces were shelling on the civilians in the safe zones.

NPR Hundreds Dead, Injured In Sri Lanka Fighting

Fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces has left about 380 civilians dead in northern Sri Lanka, and hundreds more injured. It’s a continuation of a decades-long civil war, that has left as many as 100,000 ethnic Tamils confined to an area the size of Central Park and surrounded by government forces.

CBC – Rising death toll reported in Sri Lanka after artillery barrage

The civilian death toll from an overnight artillery barrage in northern Sri Lanka has risen to 378, a health official said Sunday.

V. Shanmugarajah, a physician working in the war zone, reported the number as bodies were brought to the makeshift hospital that he runs. He said 1,122 people have been wounded.

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