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Sri Lanka: ICRC hands over four prisoners freed by LTTE

09-03-2000 News Release 00/08

A visit by family members to 13 soldiers and two navy personnel detained by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Vanni region of northern Sri Lanka ended on 28 February. Organized by the ICRC, the visit lasted five days. On 25 February the prisoners suspended a hunger strike they had begun 15 days earlier in an effort to obtain their release.

On the day the visit ended, the LTTE freed four of the prisoners (three from the army and one from the navy), whom the ICRC escorted to Vavuniya and handed over to the military authorities there. The remaining 11 are still in detention. All 13 soldiers had been captured in 1993 and the two navy personnel in 1994.