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Last updated: 13 November, 2007 - Published 17:08 GMT
 
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Civilians hurt at Madhu church
 
Madhu church
Church authoritieasay SLA shells fell on church premises
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities have rejected accusations by Catholic priests of launching artilery attacks towards Madhu church.

The priest in charge of the shrine, Rev. Emiliyas Pillai, said the SLA launched attacks towards the area despite repeated pledges to keep the area as a "peace zone".

Denying any military involvement SLA spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakakara accused the Tamil Tigers.

LTTE accused

"As someone who has witnessed shell attacks, I can tell you that it is very difficult to find out the direction the attacks were launched," he told BBC Sandeshaya.

 The military will certainly investigate provided an offcial complaint is lodged but as far as I am concerned, we are yet to receive a complaint regarding the incident
 
Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara

Rev. Pillai said an old woman and a girl were admitted to Mannar hospital after sustaining injuries as some shells fell near church premises.

SLA camps in Mannar launched a series of artillery attacks towrds LTTe areas, he said.

In a meeting with Mannar bishop Rayappu Joseph, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pledged to keep the shrine out of the military conflict.

Military authorities pledged to investigate.

"The military will certainly investigate provided an offcial complaint is lodged but as far as I am concerned, we are yet to receive a complaint regarding the incident," Brigadier Nanayakakra said.

 
 
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