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Home > News > PTI

LTTE kills 6 soldiers; Red Cross opens frontlines

May 30, 2007 15:36 IST

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Coverage: The War in Sri Lanka
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels have shot dead six soldiers in northern Sri Lanka even as the international Red Cross resumed providing safe passage for civilians crossing the frontlines.

The defence ministry said soldiers were killed in two confrontations since Tuesday evening when rebels opened fire on them in the Vavuniya district.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday resumed its presence at Omanthai and Uyilankulam crossing points, in Vavuniya and Mannar districts respectively.

They had pulled out last week following a stepping up of shelling by government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The ICRC presence is to ensure safe passage for civilians travelling to and from rebel-held areas.  

'Under the 2002 ceasefire agreement, it is the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE that decide if crossing points will be open or closed. The ICRC's presence serves as a confidence-building measure between both parties to the conflict in the best interest of civilians,' the ICRC said.

So far this year, an average of 25,000 persons passed through the crossing points each month. The ICRC had been present on a daily basis since 2002.  

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