The UN has said it remains concerned about continued military operations over the past week in the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka, where an estimated 50,000 people are trapped because of the fighting between Lankan forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
"According to reports from those remaining inside the conflict zone, fighting has intensified with both light and heavy weapons being used," UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters yesterday at the UN headquarters in New York, citing information from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Okabe said as of today, more than 188,000 people have crossed out of the conflict zone. The vast majority have been accommodated in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Vavuniya. Over 186,000 are in camps, and some 1,700 wounded and their care-givers are in hospitals, the spokesperson said.
"There has been no report of displaced persons on their way to the camps since 27 April, although delays in confirming numbers mean that official counts lag behind realities on the ground," Okabe said.