Thousands Flee Sri Lanka Fighting

Rebels given 24 hours to surrender as civilians pour out of last Tiger stronghold
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2009 6:59 AM CDT
Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil children wait in a queue to receive food at a camp for internally displaced people in the war zone area of Putamattalan, Sri Lanka.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – At least 25,000 civilians have fled the Tamil Tigers' last stronghold in Sri Lanka as the government prepares its final push to end the civil war, reports the BBC. Tens of thousands of civilians remain in the densely packed coastal strip, which was originally set up as a safe haven from the fighting. Government forces have smashed fortifications around the area and given the rebels 24 hours to surrender. The rebels have not responded.