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Church Shelled In Government Attack On LTTE In Jaffna

August 14 2006

Artillery shells have fallen on St. Philip Neri´s Church at Allaipiddy in Jaffna.

Government forces fired artillery shells at LTTE positions and one shell hit the church on the morning of Aug. 13. Fifteen people were killed instantly, and dozens more injured, some in critical condition.

According to Father G. Peter, director of Caritas´ human development center in Kilinochchi, some of the injured were transferred to Jaffna hospital from the church. Father G. Peter has been coordinating the delivery of food to displaced people in the area.

"An artillery shell hit the church, where people were seeking shelter from the fighting," he told UCA News. "There are many houses around the church, and people ran to the church to escape the shelling, but one fell on the church."

"Nobody can enter the area now because of the curfew, and fighting is still going on," he added. Jaffna is almost 400 kilometers north of Colombo.

Meanwhile, according to radio reports and government sources, a powerful bomb exploded in Colombo at Liberty Plaza Building in central Colombo at 1.15 p.m. on Aug. 14, Seven people reportedly were killed and 15 others injured. The bomb, according to reports, had been fixed in a three-wheeler taxi.

The cease-fire agreement signed in February 2002, after a 20-year war killed as many as 80,000 people and displaced more than a million, is on the brink of collapse. In recent months, political killings and accusations of cease-fire violations have mounted. Violent incidents have become a daily occurrence.