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Last major medical facility in Tamil-held territory in Lanka non-functional

[New Kerala, Sunday, 15 March 2009 11:46 No Comment]

The last major medical facility in Tamil-held territory has almost stopped functioning due to medicine shortage, the BBC quoted a Sri Lankan health official, as saying at the weekend.

Dr. T. Varatharaja warned that the closure of the hospital would put the lives of thousands of sick and injured people in the conflict zone at extreme risk.

His warning comes amid increasing international concern for ensuring the safety of thousands of civilians caught in fighting in Sri Lanka’s north and east.

The Sri Lankan army is trying to take over rebel strongholds in the area, and it is estimated that between 70,000 and 200,000 civilians are in the conflict zone.

Dr. Varatharaja said there was a severe shortage of essential medicine, which was forcing the hospital to shut down most of its operations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has also been warning of an impending humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the conflict zone and called for a mass evacuation of civilians.

[Full Coverage]

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