Tamil Tigers say Sri Lanka's government bombed orphanage

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam accused the air force of Sri Lanka of deliberately bombing an orphanage, killing 50-60 children and injuring 150 more. The Tigers said that the victims were between the ages of 15 and 18 and were attending a first aid seminar. The air strike in took place in the rebel-controlled northern district of Mullaitivu in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.

The military denied the charges that they bombed an orphanage. They say that they can prove that it was training camp for the Tamil Tigers. The air raid was in support of government ground troops that are fighting rebels who are advancing on the Jaffna peninsula.

"It is a lie to say that schoolchildren were targeted," government spokesperson Chandrapala Liyanage told the AFP news agency. "The air force had bombed a LTTE training centre. We don't know if they had moved child soldiers there."

Since the early 1980s, there has been an ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka between the Sri Lankan government and members of the Tamil ethnic group in the northeast of the island. A ceasefire was declared in 2002, but violence has continued despite this.