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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

LTTE fires at school and village of Somapura killing 4 and injuring 13 hurting many teachers and students

By Walter Jayawardhana

Colombo, 08 December, ( Four died and thirteen others were injured , some seriously when the terrorists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fired multi-barrel rockets and long range artillery at Somadevi Vidyalaya, a school of Sinhala students of Somapura in Trincomalee District.

When there is conclusive proof that the fire originated from LTTE guns in a nearby guerilla camp, as usual, Irasiah Ilantheriyan (Marshal) based in Vanni, the official military spokesman of the LTTE denied of any knowledge of the their artillery fire and simply asked to inquire from the Sri Lanka Army.

The Colombo Embassy of the United States issuing a statement condemned the LTTE for unprovoked attack on the school.

One of the deceased was Ms. E.A.Mangalika, who was visiting Somadevi school on official duty from another school Navodya Vidyalaya from the same district and who was taking part in a teaching workshop at this school, the school sources said.

A student of the school who got scared and ran home for protection died with her father when the LTTE shells fell on her house killing both of them instantly other reports said.

Kantale Hospital sources said the teacher, Mangalika died on the operating table when the doctors were trying to save her life.

It was not immediately known the names of the other three who died of the LTTE attack. Military sources said five people who were seriously injured were removed to Anuradhapura Hospital from Kanthale Hospital y a Air Force helicopter. Altogether there were 13 people immediately admitted to the Kanthale hospital, the Hospital sources further revealed.

Most of the injured are students and their teachers, hospital sources said.

Harsha Thilakeratne, a teacher who survived the attack said he could remember four shells falling in and around during the LTTE shelling while he was with some students in the play ground and the next thing he saw was the building falling down and the bloody mayhem caused by it. The injured also have been admitted to Seruwila Hospital other than Kanthale and Anuradhapura and an accurate count of the injured could not be taken.

The attack on the school occurred while the school of the government was in session about 11.30 December 7 school sources said.

The LTTE started shelling the village, in their second round, about 12.20 when the girl who ran home was killed with her father. Another villager was also killed in this second round of the attack.

Military sources said, "The tiger pattern of firing at the village and the school was brought to the notice of ICRC, SLMM and the UN representatives in the area and requested that the tigers should be instructed to keep the civilians away from their gun positions to avoid any casualties to them during retaliatory fire."

- Asian Tribune -

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