378 Civilians Reported Dead in Sri Lanka Artillery Barrage

1,100 injured; rebels, army blame each other
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2009 11:34 AM CDT
In this photo released by a pro-Tamil rebel-linked website, Sri Lankan ethnic Tamils carry the body of a relative as others weep over those killed in a shelling in the No Fire Zone on May 10, 2009.   ((AP Photo/TamilNet, HO))
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(Newser) – An all-night artillery barrage in Sri Lanka's war zone killed at least 378 civilians and forced thousands to flee to makeshift shelters, a government doctor said today. The army and Tamil Tiger rebels each blamed the other for the barrage, which the doctor said left at least 1,100 people wounded in the bloodiest day he has seen in months of fighting.

Dr. V. Shanmugarajah said many more were likely killed, but they were buried where they fell instead of being taken to the makeshift hospital where he works in the war zone. He described the situation at the understaffed hospital as "overwhelming." Most doctors and nurses have long since fled, he said, and even volunteers to dig graves were in short supply.