38 Sri Lanka civilians reported slain
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Government artillery attacks and air raids in Sri Lanka's northern war zone killed at least 38 civilians yesterday and wounded 140, the area's top health official said. India offered to help evacuate tens of thousands of noncombatants trapped by the fighting.
Dr. Thurairaja Varatharajah said 13 members of one extended family were killed in their sleep early yesterday when artillery shells exploded on their home in a village inside a government designated "safe zone" in the fast-shrinking strip of territory still held by Tamil Tiger rebels.
The bodies were brought to the makeshift hospital Varatharajah runs out of a school in the area, he said, adding that the shelling appeared to come from government-controlled areas to the south. Hours later, air force jets launched a pair of air strikes in the area that killed 25 more civilians, whose bodies were brought to the hospital, he said.