6,500 people dead in Sri Lanka

April 25th, 2009 - 1:17 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

In Sri Lanka’s war, many hundreds fled intense fighting for the country at the war zone and while awaiting  evacuation from this tiny coastal village as the U.N. reported that nearly 6,500 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the last three months.

The UN estimates that 50,000 people were still trapped in the war zone after more than 100,000 fled earlier this week, spokesman Elisabeth Byrs said on Friday. Nearly 1,000 awaited evacuation.

The UN’s top humanitarian official, John Holmes, will leave on Saturday on a three-day trip to Sri Lanka to look into the welfare of the refugees and seek the release of all UN staff detained in camps, UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said on Friday.

Dr Thangamuttu Sathyamurthi, a top government health official in the war zone, said there was a severe shortage of food and medicine in the area and people were dying of starvation.

Doctors Without Borders, a medical relief group, said the civilians pouring out of the conflict zone included large numbers of people with blast, mine and gunshot wounds.

At least 6,432 civilians have been killed in the intense fighting over the past three months and 13,946 wounded, according to a private UN document circulated among diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka in recent days.

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