OTD August 2 1989 Indian soldiers deployed in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) initiate an attack on the coastal town of Valvettithurai on the Jaffna Peninsula. 64 civilians are killed in the attack.
Cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam
had stepped up their attacks on troops of the IPKF, largely by means of hit-and-run tactics and ambushes. On the morning of August 2 an IPKF moved into the town of Valvettithurai, and were attacked by an LTTE unit, resulting in the deaths of six soldiers,
including an officer as well as a further 10 injured soliders.
In retaliation, the IPKF troops went on a killing spree in the town, going from house to house, dragging people into the streets and then assaulting and killing them. Even civilians who were attempting to
surrender were shot. When the attack on the town was done, the IPKF imposed a curfew on the area, preventing medical aid and supplies from reaching the town. Houses and businesses were looted and burned by the troops.
In all 64, Tamil civilians were killed in the
Valvettithurai Massacre, although the Indian Embassy claimed a death toll of only 24 civilians, all caught in the cross-fire of the initial LTTE attack. The Massacre was a turning point
in public opinion about the presence of the IPKF, who were no longer trusted by the population they were there to protect and the force was withdrawn the next year. No one has ever faced trial for the Massacre and the town continues to call on

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