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Sri Lanka: ICRC calls on parties to conflict to respect civilians

21-11-1999 News Release 99/65

Geneva (ICRC) - On 20 November fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam left 37 civilians dead and 60 others wounded. Thirteen children were among the dead. The victims had taken refuge in the compound of a Roman Catholic church in Madhu, between Mannar and Vavuniya in the north of the island. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), deeply shocked by this event, has once again called on the warring parties to spare civilians and places of worship.

The ICRC today visited the wounded at the hospital in Vavuniya and supplied the facility with medical assistance, including sufficient dressings for some 120 people.

Since the upsurge in fighting at the beginning of November the ICRC has repeatedly reminded the parties to the conflict of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law. It urgently appeals to the parties to take the necessary measures at all times to prevent casualties among the civilian population during military operations.

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