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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Heavy advance bombardment of Tamil villages and towns - 9 July 1995
On 9 July 1995, two days after the Deputy Defence Minister's outburst in the Sri Lanka Parliament, the Sri Lanka armed forces launched an intensive bombing and shell attack directed at Tamil civilian population centres in the Jaffna peninsula, all the while claiming that Sri Lanka was not at war against the Tamil people but only against the LTTE.
Indiscriminate and continual night shelling on 9, 10 and 11 July of Kokuvil, Thalayady, Maruthanamadam, Thavadi, Uduvil, Manipay, Anaicottai, Sangarathai, Vaddukodai, and Navaly areas led tens of thousands of Tamil civilians to evacuate their homes. During certain periods shells were fired at the rate of almost one per minute.
During the first six days of the onslaught, 245 Tamil civilians including almost one hundred women and children were killed. More than 470 were injured. High flying supersonic jets indiscriminately bombed villages and also targeted temples, places of worship and schools where villagers had sought refuge from the incessant shelling. A large number of houses and hard earned belongings were destroyed.
"Heavy bombardment is reported from Jaffna as Sri Lankan troops continued their advance in a major military operation launched at dawn today. Code named "Operation leap forward" the combined operation of the Sri Lankan army, navy and airforce was launched after an indefinite curfew was imposed throughout the Jaffna peninsula. According to northern Tamil sources there have been heavy advanced bombardment as Sri Lankan troops moved out of forward defence lines west of Palali military base in the north. ".. At least 10 to 12 thousand troops in four battalions have been deployed in this massive operation involving heavy artillery battle tanks and armoured personal carriers with support from the Sri Lanka navy and air force. According to what the government says they have dropped leaflets asking the people to move to places of worship and other places. (BBC News, 9 July 1995)
"� The intensive aerial bombardment and indiscriminate shelling of Tamil civil population centres in the Jaffna peninsula commenced on 9 July. Sri Lanka bombers have targeted temples and refugee camps. During the following 36 hours , over 210 Tamil civilians, including over 60 women and children were killed and more than 350 injured�" (Press Release by Humanitarian Law Project, International Educational Development, 12 July 1995)