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Encyclopedia > Navaly Church massacre

Navaly Church massacre or Navaly Church bombing was the result of bombing of The Church of St. Peter and Paul in Navaly (Navali) by the Sri Lankan Air Force. It was one of the more destructive incidents to take place against Tamil civilians in the ongoing Sri Lankan conflict. The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is an ongoing conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and a minority terrorist group consisting of Ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils on the island-nation of Sri Lanka. ...

Contents


Background information

This incident occurred during a phase of the conflict where the Sri Lankan military were on the offensive to retake the Jaffna peninsula. This operation was already highlighted by the use of intense artillery shelling and aerial bombardment[1]. As part of precautions to avoid civilian casualties the military had distributed leaflets requesting Tamil civilians find shelter at places of worship.


Initial reports

The Church of St. Peter and Paul in Navaly (also spelled Navali) located on the Jaffna peninsula was bombed by a Sri Lankan military aircraft on the afternoon of July 9th 1995. Several hundred Tamil civilians were taking refuge at the church and surrounding environs at the time.


The news of the incident was first broken by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which at the time was the only aid agency working in the Tamil areas. The ICRC helped evacuate many of the wounded by ambulance to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.


Immediate casualties were given as 65 killed and over 150 injured, many were women and children. Eventually this figure rose to a 125 killed, as many succumbed to their injuries [2]. This was partly due to the fact that the hospital was unable to cope with so many casualties at one time.


The aftermath

The Sri Lankan government initially denied any knowledge of the bombing, and then claimed it could have been LTTE mortars that caused the damage. More improbable claims, such as exploding LTTE ammunition trucks or underground ammunition storage being set off were also put forward by some military personnel [3]. However, in a later report, the ICRC head in Sri Lanka, Marco Altherr, stated that it was indeed bombs that had fallen on the area; he further included eyewitness accounts from civilians in the area, including a priest from another church in the vicinity that also supported this claim. Eventually the government agreed to investigate the incident.


Government investigation and results

Other notable masscares in the region

Nagerkovil central school massacre or Nagerkovil central school bombing is the masscre of 40 minority Tamil civilians by the LTTE. Categories: | ...

See also

The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is an ongoing conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and a minority terrorist group consisting of Ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils on the island-nation of Sri Lanka. ... Several groups have alleged that there have been instances of state terrorism by Sri Lanka. ...

Sources and Links

  • Article at Tamilnation.org
  • ICRC Document

 
 

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