Amnesty denounces Sri Lanka suicide bombing

February 10th, 2009 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 10 (IANS) Amnesty International has condemned the suicide bombing in Sri Lanka that killed 30 people, calling it a violation of international law.

A suicide bomber reportedly dressed as a civilian blew herself up killing and wounding dozens of soldiers and civilians at a check point for civilians fleeing the conflict zone.

Such tactics violated the international legal prohibition on perfidious attacks and expose civilians to increased danger, Amnesty said in a statement.

“Blurring the distinction between civilians and combatants means that thousands of ordinary people, desperate to flee the conflict area, are at greater risk of reprisals and getting caught in crossfire,” said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International’s Sri Lanka expert.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has a long history of using suicide bombers and have in the past targeted civilians, Amnesty said. The group did not claim responsibility for the latest attack.

“The Tamil Tigers must immediately and publicly disavow the use of tactics such as suicide bombers disguised as civilians,” said Foster.

“It is important to remember that the use of such attacks by one party to an armed conflict does not excuse unlawful attacks in response. This perfidious assault should not be used as an excuse by the Sri Lankan military to abuse displaced civilians who should still be treated in accordance with international law,” Foster said. “The security forces must still make sure that their actions are directed against military targets and not civilians.”

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