Sri Lanka: OK, We'll Count War Dead
Island-wide census follows war crimes accusations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2013 9:53 PM CST
Ethnic Tamil civilians in the "no-fire zone" after an all-night artillery barrage killed at least 378 civilians and forced thousands to flee to makeshift shelters, May 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Amid international pressure, Sri Lanka has agreed to try to find out just how many people were killed during its merciless civil war. The government say a team of 16,000 officials "will conduct an island-wide census to assess the human and property damages occurred" in its long struggle against the separatist Tamil Tigers, the BBC reports. The United Nations has accused both sides of war crimes during the conflict's final months in 2009, when as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed after being forced into a tiny strip of land that was heavily shelled after being declared a "no-fire zone."

 

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