Refugee camp bombing kills 65 in Sri Lanka

Nov 8, 2006 (AFP) – At least 65 civilians were killed and about 300 injured Wednesday when government forces shelled a refugee camp in eastern Sri Lanka, Tamil rebels and medical sources said. The bodies of the victims were brought to the Vakarai hospital inside the rebel-held part of Batticaloa following heavy artillery duels, while the wounded were taken to three hospitals in the district, a medical source said.

A spokesman for the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said the final toll could rise to 100.

The victims were ethnic Tamils who had been displaced by the recent upsurge in shelling in the region.

The Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said it had visited the area where a public building sheltering internally displaced persons (IDPs) had been shelled.

“Our monitors have counted 23 bodies, but there could be a lot more,” a spokeswoman for the SLMM said. “We can confirm that it is an IDP centre that had been hit.”

The London-based international rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI), condemned the attack and demanded an immediate investigation into the massacre.

“It is appalling that the military should attack a camp for displaced p