50,000 civilians still trapped in Lanka's war zone: UN | world | Hindustan Times
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50,000 civilians still trapped in Lanka's war zone: UN

United Nations on Friday said more than 50,000 civilians were still trapped in Sri Lanka's war zone and renewed its call to Colombo to allow an assessment mission into the area to facilitate relief operations and evacuation procedures.

world Updated: Apr 24, 2009 13:20 IST

United Nations on Friday said more than 50,000 civilians were still trapped in Sri Lanka's war zone and renewed its call to Colombo to allow an assessment mission into the area to facilitate relief operations and evacuation procedures.

"We estimate that 50,000 civilians are still trapped in the crossfire between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE in the Wanni region of the country where the government armed forces has launched its final assault against the Tamil Tigers," Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg said.

Addressing a press conference, she told reporters some 100,000 people had managed to come out of the war zone according to government estimates. But said there was no direct confirmation.

The Sri Lankan government had said it estimates that only 10-15,000 people remain in the war zone. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has ordered a humanitarian assessment team to enter Sri Lanka.

Ban told reporters in Brussels that the purpose of the team would be to monitor the situation and channelise relief measures. Sri Lanka government has, however, rejected appeals for an immediate humanitarian mission, saying it was not in a position to let aid agencies into the war zone.