The Red Cross says at least 16 patients were killed in the shelling of a makeshift hospital in the war zone in northeastern Sri Lanka.

The Red Cross said in a statement Tuesday that the area near the village of Putumattalan was hit by shelling Monday.

It called on both the government and the rebels to refrain from attacks on the wounded and medical personnel.

The Red Cross evacuated 240 patients from the area by sea on Tuesday and hopes to evacuate the remaining 160 soon.