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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:45, May 18, 2006
Tamil Tigers use civilians as shield: Sri Lankan official
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The Sri Lankan government accused Wednesday the Tamil Tiger rebels of using civilians as a shield in attacks against the security forces.

Prasad Samarasinghe, the defense ministry spokesman, told reporters here Wednesday that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels carry out attacks against the government troops in heavily populated areas.

"They use them as a shield and even have some civilians in their payroll to attack troops," Samarasinghe said.

Over 150 members of the government troops have been killed by the Tiger rebels in the upsurge of violence since December last year, which has hampered the Norwegian peace facilitators' efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table.

Keheliya Rambukwella, minister of Policy Planning and government's defense spokesman, said that in spite of the violence, the government remained committed to the Norwegian-backed peace process.

Rambukwella said the government would be giving a full account of the violence and the numbers of security forces victims to the European Union in order for them to consider their moves to outlaw the Tamil Tigers.

The LTTE made a suicide assassination bid on Army Commander Sarath Fonseka late April, which upset the second round of talks in Geneva to discuss the truce scheduled for April 24-25.

The LTTE makes counter accusations at the government troops for carrying out extra judicial killings of Tamil civilians in the north and east.

The international truce monitors, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), has blamed both sides of doing nothing to build confidence to facilitate direct talks.

Source: Xinhua

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