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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Civilians at risk in Sri Lanka, UNICEF says

Wed, 18 Mar 2009 03:23:54 GMT | PressTV

Children in war-torn Sri Lanka
The UN children's agency UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have warned of the terrible humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka.

"Children and their families caught in the conflict zone are at risk of dying from disease and malnutrition," said UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman in a statement Tuesday.

The ICRC in Colombo said that civilians in rebel-held territory endured daily attacks and an increased danger of epidemics.

"The area is affected by shelling every day, and the cramped conditions and the lack of water and proper sanitation are putting people at risk," the ICRC Colombo office said in a statement.

About 70,000 civilians are trapped in Sri Lanka's northeast along with around 500 Tamil Tiger fighters, according to the Sri Lankan government.

However, the UN said that the number could be around 200,000.

Tamil Tiger rebels have been surrounded by the Sri Lankan military in a small patch of jungle.

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