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UN Secy Gen concerned over civilian casualties in Lanka

A United Nations spokesperson said that Ban discussed with Rajapaksa over phone the "worsening humanitarian" crisis in the north of the country where the fighting is going on.

world Updated: Feb 07, 2009 17:16 IST

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has conveyed to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa his "strong concern" over heavy casualties among some 2.5 lakh civilians trapped in fighting between government forces and LTTE in the island's north and sought steps to safeguard their lives.

A United Nations spokesperson said that Ban discussed with Rajapaksa over phone the "worsening humanitarian" crisis in the north of the country where the fighting is going on.

"The Secretary-General reiterates the responsibility of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to allow people to move to wherever they feel safe and the obligation of the Government to conduct its military operations with due regard to the need to safeguard civilian lives," his spokesperson Michele Montas said.

Montas said Ban conveyed his strong concern to Rajapaksa over the civilian casualties in the war zone.