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250,000 Tamil civilians urged to flee to safety

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:03 AM
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250,000 Tamil civilians urged to flee to safety
Source: AP

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Sri Lanka's military opened a "safety zone" Wednesday to enable some 250,000 trapped civilians to cross into government-controlled territory from the diminishing area held by Tamil Tiger rebels in the war-torn north.

The air force dropped leaflets over rebel territory urging civilians in the region to travel to the 14 square-mile (35 square-kilometer) safety zone at the edge of rebel territory, from which they would be transported out of the war zone, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

The announcement came as the military pushed ahead with an offensive in the north aimed at defeating the insurgents and ending the country's 25-year-old civil war. The military has captured most of the de facto state run by the rebels and boxed them into a small territory in the northeast.

Human rights groups have raised concerns for the safety of people living in a shrinking territory under siege.

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Oh good, more refugees.
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