Home » News

Hundreds killed in Sri Lanka, says ICRC

[New Kerala, Wednesday, 28 January 2009 17:55 No Comment]

Hundreds of people have been killed in fighting in Sri Lanka’s north, the international Red Cross said, as the UN pledged Wednesday to try evacuating hundreds of critically injured civilians from the war zone.

The UN said it will attempt for the second time in three days to help evacuate by convoy "hundreds of critically wounded civilians, including at least 50 seriously injured children".

A UN statement said the convoy had been trapped for days in the northern town of Puthukkudiyiruppu, which lies just across the lines of confrontation in territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The UN said that if the LTTE gave permission and if there was a lull in fighting, the convoy would cross the frontlines at midday Thursday and the injured would be shifted to hospitals in Vavuniya, also in the north.
The UN statement came after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that scores of wounded were overwhelming understaffed and ill-equipped medical facilities in Sri Lanka’s north.
Jacques de Maio, the ICRC head of operations for South Asia in Geneva, said that this followed intensified fighting between the military and the LTTE.

"People are being caught in the crossfire, hospitals and ambulances have been hit by shelling and several aid workers were injured while evacuating the wounded," de Maio said in a statement.

"The violence is preventing the ICRC from operating in the region," he added.

The terrified civilian population was in need of protection, medical care and basic assistance, according to the ICRC.

An estimated 250,000 people are trapped in a 250 sq-km area which has come under intense fighting. The people have no safe area to take shelter and were unable to flee, the statement said.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.