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UPDATED: 20:02, November 15, 2006
Sri Lanka navy seeks help for sailors release
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Sri Lanka navy said Wednesday that it had asked for the intervention of human rights organizations to secure the release of four sailors held captive by the Tamil Tiger rebels.

A Naval spokesman who did not want to be named said that the navy had made contact with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Nordic truce monitoring group, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in addition to several human rights groups.

At least four Sri Lankan navy men were held captive by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels on Nov. 9 in the seas off the northern Jaffna peninsula.

The navy and the Tigers clashed at Nagarkovil seas and the pro- rebel website TamilNet said the Tigers had destroyed two navy fast attack crafts whilst seizing weapons and the four sailors.

The pictures of the sailors were shown on the website but no one had been allowed to visit them, the relatives of the sailors claimed.

The sea clashes came as the Geneva talks between the rebels and the government had collapsed late October.

The government early this month announced that some 3300 people were killed between December 2005 and Oct. 25, 2006 in the upsurge of violence which marred the Norwegian backed ceasefire.

The LTTE had been fighting for an independent homeland in the north and east between the mid-1980s and 2002 when the Norwegians brokered a ceasefire.

Source: Xinhua

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