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07 Feb 2009 09:08

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World: Red Cross to Sri Lanka rebels: Get us out of the crossfire

  • What happened? Sri Lanka is in the midst of a lengthy (30-year-plus), dangerous and bloody civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka. The Tigers are fighting to create their own sovereign nation, but appear to be close to defeated in this latest offensive. On Friday, Sri Lanka claimed that they killed 14 rebels, including two leaders.
  • In the middle In the midst of this conflict are a number of civilians, many of whom are hospitalized. 250,000 total people are trapped inside the rebel territory. After rebels started firing shells at a hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu, the war zone’s last hospital, patients were moved to a makeshift medical facility in Puttumatalan village.
  • A plea for helpThe Red Cross says there are nearly 400 people at this medical facility, many lying on the floor because it’s so overcrowded or forced to receive medical attention at unequipped schools or community centers. The international organization wants the rebels to allow them to move these patients without worry of getting in the crossfire. source