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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:28, January 04, 2007
Sri Lankan gov't denies killing civilians in air raids
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The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday denied Tamil Tiger rebels' claim that a civilian settlement in the country's north was bombed in the air raids conducted by the Air Force on Tuesday, saying the target was a sea tiger base.

"The government completely rejects the false information spread by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) on the air strikes carried out by the Air Force on a sea tiger base in Illuppaikadavai, north of Mannar in the morning hours yesterday," said the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) in a statement.

The LTTE said 14 civilians were killed and more than 30 others were injured in the attacks at about 9:35 a.m. (0405 GMT) on Tuesday by four Air Force Kfir jets on the fishing village of Padahuthurai near Illuppaikadavai.

The rebel group claimed many of the badly injured including several children have been transferred to the Kilinochchi hospital.

However, the MCNS said the sea tiger base at Illuppaikadavai was a well identified target which was under constant observation by the Air Force.

"The government reiterates that the Air Force carried out this attack on a well identified sea tiger base and not on a civilian settlement," said the MCNS.

The statement also put doubts on the LTTE's claim that the injured were taken to the Kilinochchi hospital as the nearest hospital to Illuppaikadavai is Mannar hospital and the Anuradhapura General hospital is also better and nearer than the Kilinochchi hospital.

The statement added that there can not be any civilian casualties in Illuppaikadavai as the Army had banned the area for civilian settlements earlier.

Source: Xinhua

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