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Sri Lanka to probe US charges of troops 'atrocities'

Sri Lanka will appoint a committee to probe into the allegations of 'atrocities' by its troops during the final battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May this year, an official said.

world Updated: Oct 27, 2009 11:20 IST

Sri Lanka will appoint a committee to probe into the allegations of "atrocities" by its troops during the final battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May this year, an official said.

The State Department has submitted a report to the US Congress containing details of alleged atrocities by both the Sri Lankan troops and the LTTE, Xinhua reported on Monday.

"The president (Mahinda Rajapakse) has decided to appoint a committee to probe the contents of the report," Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters.

Samarasinghe said the government would respond after the committee studies the allegations.

The report lists 170 incidents of atrocities between May 2 and May 18 based on internal reports to Washington from the US embassy in Colombo, satellite imagery, aid and media organisations.

Sri Lanka has come under pressure to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the final stages of its victorious battle against the LTTE.

The foreign ministry however dismissed the report as baseless.

The LTTE had been fighting for more than two decades to carve out an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island country before it was crushed by the troops in May.