Gruesome `rescue mission`T
he X-ray shows a bullet lodged next to the heart of a Tamil man, one of tens of thousands who have flooded out of Sri Lanka's northeast to escape the war with the Tamil Tigers.
"He said he was shot in the chest six months ago. But we can't remove it because we'd have to do full open-chest surgery," said Michel Orcel, a doctor working in a French field hospital set up on the island.
Over the last two weeks, the team of 72 surgeons, doctors, nurses and other staff have already treated 700 people, 100 of whom have been put on the operating table.
And under the scalpel, the skinny and traumatised displaced have given a gruesome picture of how Tamil civilians have paid a heavy price in what the island's government has called a "rescue mission."
Their wounds show how ordinary and impoverished villagers -- male and female, young and old -- have been shot, shelled, bombed and burned as the bitter ethnic conflict enters its bloody final phase.Text:
Image: Injured Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil civilians trapped in Tiger controlled war zone wait for medical treatment in a makeshift hospital in Mullivaikal, on May 4, 2009. (Copyright AP. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited.)3 UK television journalists arrested in Lanka