Sri Lankan hospital hit by shelling, 9 killed

Three artillery barrages struck a hospital in Sri Lanka's chaotic war zone, slamming into its pediatrics ward and its women's wing and killing nine patients, the Red Cross said Monday. Dr. Thurairajah Varatharajah, the top government health official in the area, said the shells in at least two of the attacks Sunday appeared to have been fired by the Sri Lankan army. They caused extensive damage to the overcrowded Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital, one of the last functioning health institutions inside rebel-held territory, he said. "We're at a loss to understand why people would shell a hospital," said UN spokesman Gordon Weiss, who did not cast blame on either side for the attack.