67,000 trapped civilians reach Govt controlled areas: Army | world | Hindustan Times
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67,000 trapped civilians reach Govt controlled areas: Army

With Lankan troops poised to free thousands of civilians trapped in the No Fire Zone, over 600 Tamil civilians crossed over from the LTTE-held areas to the army controlled territories, officials said.

world Updated: Apr 11, 2009 19:05 IST

With Lankan troops poised to free thousands of civilians trapped in the No Fire Zone, over 600 Tamil civilians crossed over from the LTTE-held areas to the army controlled territories, officials said on Saturday.

The total number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who have crossed over to the government areas has reached 67,010 as over 600 civilians moved into the army-controlled areas from the LTTE territories on Friday, officials said.

"The total number of civilians who have reached army controlled areas increased to 67,010," an official statement said.

Meanwhile, 606 civilians sought refuge with the army's 58 Division on Friday, the army said.

"Humanitarian operations conducted by Sri Lankan Armed forces have reached its final stage; with troops poised to free thousands of civilians in the No Fire Zone [NFZ] held hostage by the LTTE cadres,” the statement said.

It said the army "has almost swept away all LTTE strongholds in the northern anterior of the 12-km long NFZ demarcated for the civilians and now limited their mop up operations to the southern anterior".

Expressing deep concern about the plight of Tamil civilians trapped in the northern war-zones, the international community has asked Sri Lankan to take steps to protect them.