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Posts Tagged ‘safe zone’

AP

By BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A series of satellite images taken over Sri Lanka’s former war zone showed the existence of large grave sites and evidence of possible mortar positions near areas that had been packed with trapped civilians, a human rights group said Thursday.

The release of the images was intended to challenge government claims that the military had ceased using heavy weapons in the final months of its war against the Tamil Tiger rebels in the jungles of the north to prevent large-scale civilian deaths.

U.N. reports show more than 7,000 civilians were killed in fighting between mid-January and May, when the military routed the remaining rebels. Rights groups accused the government of heavily shelling civilian areas and the rebels of holding tens of thousands of noncombatants as human shields. Both sides denied the accusations. (more…)

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By Emma Batha, AlertNet

Hundreds of people fleeing Sri Lanka’s war zone are arriving at hospitals with horrific injuries and severe trauma, doctors say.

Aid workers are also warning there could be a “bloodbath” as the war between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels enters what appears to be the final days.

The military says at least 100,000 civilians have poured out of the battle zone since Monday when troops blasted through a massive earthen wall built by the Tigers. But the United Nations says tens of thousands more could still be trapped there.

(more…)

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By BBC News

The Tamil Tigers have accused the Sri Lankan government of killing about 1,000 civilians and injuring many more during its military offensive.

The government has denied the allegations, in turn accusing the rebel group of targeting civilians.

It said by midday (0630 GMT) nearly 50,000 civilians had fled the rebel-held area in the north of the island.

Meanwhile government forces say they have made inroads into the sliver of territory still held by the Tigers.

(more…)

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