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Lankan army shot surrendering rebels: rights group

world Updated: Jun 12, 2009 19:18 IST
Sri Lankan army

Sri Lankan army has been accused of shooting surrendering Tamil Tiger rebels in the final months of the brutal civil war and bulldozing the injured civilians into mass graves, along with the dead, a human rights group has claimed.

"The army had for the most part conducted itself in a disciplined manner in trying to protect civilians. But once the command gives a signal for barbarity to be let loose, the men touch the most depraved depths of humanity," the report by the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) group said.

The inquiry by Sri Lankan human rights group also held the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) responsible for torture, murder and the forced conscription of children, saying the group was probably responsible for most of the thousands of civilian casualties in the final days of the war.

The report, according to The Guardian, was issued on Wednesday night by the human rights group, which has spent 21 years exposing abuses by both sides in the civil war.

Its investigators uncovered evidence that LTTE fighters shot civilians who they believed were trying to escape, and that government troops threw grenades into bunkers where they knew civilians were sheltering and used a vehicle to run over injured civilians.

There are also allegations that wounded civilians may have been bulldozed into mass graves, along with the dead, the report said.