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Tamils block railtracks at German railway hub

world Updated: May 18, 2009 07:57 IST
Tamils block railtracks at German railway hub

German-based Tamils protesting against the Sri Lankan army's crushing of Tamil rebels blocked railway tracks for two hours Sunday in Frankfurt Railway Station, one of Germany's main rail hubs.

Hundreds of protesters descended from Frankfurt Station's platforms and occupied the tracks, blocking rail operations. They left after lengthy negotiations with German transport police.

Demonstrators, many with their children, waved banners saying, "Stop the Massacre of the Tamils," and chanted, "Germany, Germany, help us, help us."

The protests disrupted Germany's normally smooth railway operations. Express trains had to discharge passengers at suburban stations. Police detained only one man, because he tried to persuade the demonstrators to re-enter the station after the protest ended.

The station is a main terminus with 24 platforms that handle inter-city express and local trains.

In the western city of Dusseldorf, protesters blocked a main railway for an hour on Saturday and blocked a motorway, Autobahn 52, in both directions on Sunday evening.

Hours earlier, the Sri Lankan government said it had won the war. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels announced they would lay down their arms.

Supporters of the LTTE accused the government of inhumanity to tens of thousands of minority Tamils in the former rebel zone.