Up to 110K Civilians Flee Sri Lankan War Zone

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2009 9:52 AM CDT
Sri Lankan army soldiers patrol a transit camp.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Thousands more civilians flooded out of the final battlefield in Sri Lanka’s civil war today, bringing the total number of displaced to more than 80,000, Reuters reports. The UN said that number could be as high as 110,000, though only 7,500 had reached refugee camps clear of the violence. The Sri Lankan army has broken the remaining Tamil Tiger rebel force into two sections.

“Confrontations are taking place,” a military spokesman said. “Whenever we come across LTTE cadres, we are fighting them. The rescue operation is continuing.” The superior government force has rejected international calls for a truce, saying it would allow the rebels to rearm as they have done before. The Tigers have refused to evacuate the large civilian population at their stronghold, which could still number 50,000.