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Sri Lanka: ICRC assists in detainee release

29-10-1998 News Release 98/43

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have released six Sri Lankan government soldiers as well as two crewmen from the ferry Iris Mona and one from the M.V. Missen . Carried out under ICRC auspices, the release took place on 24 October.

Delegates handed the soldiers over to the military authorities in Vavuniya the same day, while the three civilians were escorted by the ICRC to Colombo, where they were reunited with their families the following day.

The nine detainees concerned were regularly visited by the ICRC prior to their release. The soldiers had been held by the LTTE since 1993, the two crewmen from the Iris Mona since 1995 and the Missen crewman since July 1997.

The ICRC has been present since 1989 in Sri Lanka, where 50 expatriate staff and 300 Sri Lankan nationals work out of its delegation in Colombo and eleven other offices in the north and east of the island country.