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By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Indian officials took a demand for an immediate cease-fire in Sri Lanka’s civil war to the country’s president on Friday as the U.N. reported that nearly 6,500 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the last three months.
Concern for the safety of civilians trapped in the ever-shrinking war zone has increased in recent weeks as the government pushed ahead with its offensive to crush the rebels and end the nation’s quarter-century civil war.
The U.N. estimates that 50,000 people are still trapped in the war zone, spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said Friday.

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By BBC News

Eight people have been killed and dozens hurt in explosions in four towns and cities in India’s north-eastern state of Assam.

Seven people died when a bomb exploded outside a restaurant in Guwahati and another in a bomb attack on a market in the town of Dhekiajuli.

Grenade attacks in Mankachar and Udalguri caused a number of injuries.

Police told the BBC the separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) was responsible for the explosions.

(more…)

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By International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)

The Sri Lankan military announced on Sunday the capture of Puthukkudiyiruppu, the last remaining town controlled by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The battle is the latest in a string of defeats that have brought the LTTE to the brink of military collapse. The remaining LTTE fighters are now cornered in a government-declared no-fire zone—a strip of coastal land of about 17 square kilometres that is still under LTTE control.

Tens of thousands of civilian refugees are also crowded into the area, which, despite, government claims to the contrary, has been repeatedly subjected to army bombardment. Conditions inside the “no-fire zone” are appalling, with acute shortages of food, shelter and medicine. The military has allowed in only limited relief supplies.

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By Lakhdar Brahimi, International Herald Tribune

The already severe humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka is on the brink of catastrophe. It will take the quick arrival of humanitarian relief and high-level international political muscle to bring the nightmarish situation to an end and prevent a slaughter.

An estimated 150,000 civilians are now trapped in a tiny pocket of land between Sri Lankan military forces, whose artillery shells regularly fall among them, and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who shoot at them if they try to escape. Food, clean water and medical assistance are all increasingly scarce.

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BBC News

Pakistan has a primary responsibility to act against those who carried out the Mumbai attacks, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said. (more…)

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by AFP

GUWAHATI, India (AFP) — At least one person was killed and 100 more wounded Wednesday when five bombs ripped through busy markets and a bus station in a northeast Indian town, police and witnesses said. (more…)

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Jaipur deals with blast aftermath
By Geeta Pandey
BBC News, Jaipur
The blood-splattered remains of Tuesday’s serial bomb explosions in Jaipur are being cleared away.

Eight blasts, within minutes of each other, sent shock waves across the city.

The first at around 1915 at Badi Chaupad, or the Big Square, did not kill anyone. The bomb was kept near the road, there were not too many people around, police say.

But minutes later, another explosion just across the street, caused mayhem.

Brightly coloured glass bangles, some broken, others intact, are piled here in a corner. (more…)

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