At Least 67 Civilians Killed in Shelling of Sri Lanka’s “Safe Zone”

Military Shelled a Makeshift Hospital, Health Officials Insist

The Sri Lankan military continues to press its advantage in the long-standing conflict against the separatist north, and while they seem to be gaining considerable momentum, an increasingly bloody military victory seems likely to complicate attempts to quiet the separatist sentiment.

The latest complain today came from Sri Lankan health officials, who say that the military has been shelling a makeshift hospital inside a government-declared “safe zone” for civilians for the past three days, and has killed at least 67 civilians in the attacks.

The “safe zone” was established primarily in an effort to get civilians to leave the nearby war zones, allowing the government forces more leeway to target rebels. Yet their success in coaxing the civilians into the safe zone means little if the military is just going to shell that as well.

The separatist conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebels (largely the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) has endured for over 25 years, and has killed tens of thousands of combatants, as well as untold thousands of civilians.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.