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UN Leaked - UNOSAT satellite imagery analysis implicates Sri Lankan Government of War Crimes PDF Print E-mail

UN Leaked - UNOSAT satellite imagery analysis implicates Sri Lankan Government of War Crimes - Use of Heavy Weapons on Tamil Civilians Confirmed
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"..Within the northern and southern sections of the Civilian Safe Zone (CSZ), there are new indications of building destruction and damages resulting from shelling and possible air strikes. This analysis was conducted with a time series of very high resolution satellite imagery
from 5 February to 19 April 2009. .."
"..1. Putumattalan: Three permanent buildings have been destroyed between 29 March and 19 April, bringing the total for the northern section of the CSZ to six destroyed since 15 March. There are potentially large amounts of moderate to severe damages to the
remaining permanent buildings in this area..."

Assessment by UNITAR/UNOSAT -  26 April 2009

PLEASE NOTE: The following analysis is based on satellite imagery acquired on the morning of 19 April 2009 and thus does not reflect the dramatic changes on the ground following the reported SLA ground offensive into the CSZ and resulting IDP outflow on Monday?Tuesday
20?21 April 2009. UNITAR/UNOSAT will provide updated analysis as new satellite imagery is acquired.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT SUMMARY:

UPDATE: Within the northern and southern sections of the Civilian Safe Zone (CSZ), there are new indications of building destruction and damages resulting from shelling and possible air strikes. This analysis was conducted with a time series of very high resolution satellite imagery
from 5 February to 19 April 2009. The following assessment is made with a high degree of confidence with the understanding that it has not yet been independently validated in the field. The figures on building damages represent minimum estimates. Actual damages are likely to be
greater.

An additional 5 permanent buildings within the CSZ have been destroyed between 29 March & 19 April bringing the total estimate within the CSZ to approximately 60 main buildings destroyed. This count does not include potential damages to or destruction of IDP tent shelters.
Because of their small size, portability and dense spacing, it is not possible to identify damages to IDP structures from mortar shells at an acceptable level of confidence.

Outside the CSZ, immediately to the west and south there are continuing indications of sustained shelling and possible air strikes, with the major concentration of newly detected building destruction and hundreds of impact craters located in the eastern sections of PTK especially
centered on the main road leading east into the CSZ. Building destruction continues south of the CSZ in the town of Vellamullivaikal and Mulattivu. The remaining transport roads connecting the CSZ to the mainland were blocked by the construction of multiple trenches, security
fences and earthen berms. A main bridge leading to the CSZ (TZ2) was also closed by roadblocks and serious damages.

Damages Inside CSZ:

1. Putumattalan: Three permanent buildings have been destroyed between 29 March and 19 April, bringing the total for the northern section of the CSZ to six destroyed since 15 March. There are potentially large amounts of moderate to severe damages to the
remaining permanent buildings in this area.

2. Valayanmadam: 1 additional permanent building has been destroyed, and further south there is a cluster of likely impact craters within an area previously densely populated with IDP shelters.

Damages Outside CSZ:

3. Puthukkudiyiruppu (PTK): The major concentration of newly detected building destruction and hundreds of impact craters is located in the eastern sections of PTK especially centered on the main route leading east into the CSZ. This route is now nonfunctional
because of a series of road blocks, impact craters and trenches erected along the main road.

4. Vadduvakallu: Building destruction continues in Vadduvakallu: 40 buildings destroyed between 29 March ?19 April 2009 and a total of 148 building destroyed since 5 February 2009. A significant number of buildings were destroyed before 5 February 2009. A
complete damage assessment is in progress by UNITAR/UNOSAT.

5. Mulattivu: Building destruction also continues in Mulattivu with a small number of new destruction between 29 March & 19 April. A complete damage assessment is in progress by UNITAR/UNOSAT.

6. West of Putumattalan: Bridge closed by multiple roadblocks and road damages (29 March ?19 April) (TZ2) transport into CSZ impossible.

IDP (SHELTER) MOVEMENT SUMMARY:

Over five thousand of IDP shelters were relocated within the CSZ during April under pressure from increased shelling and military operations along the western sections of the CSZ. The approximate area of IDP settlement has further shifted eastward towards the coastline and south
into the areas of heavy shelling between the villages of Karaiyamullivaikal and Vellamullivaikal.

1. The northern IDP shelter limit has remained stable between 29 March ?19 April, however the density of IDPs here has sharply decreased. The southern IDP shelter limit has remained relatively stable between 29 March & 19 April, however the density of IDPs
situated in the heavy shelling and damage zone between Karaiyamullivaikal and Vellamullivaikal has increased sharply.

2. Over 5,500 IDP shelters moved from western side of the CSZ (29 March ?19 April) likely in response to escalating military activity and shelling. This estimate has been severely limited by cloud cover, and thus is potentially larger by two to four thousand shelters.

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