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U.S. says concerned over Sri Lanka civilian deaths

[Reuters, Monday, 11 May 2009 16:30 No Comment]

The United States said on Monday it was deeply concerned about an "unacceptably high" level of civilian casualties in Sri Lanka and called on both the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels to prevent civilian deaths.


"We’re deeply concerned. We think that there’s an unacceptably high level of civilian casualties," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told a news briefing, reacting to reports that hundreds of civilians had died on Sunday and Monday in an assault on the war zone controlled by the separatist rebel group.

"We’ve repeatedly urged the Tamil Tigers to lay down its arms and allow the civilians to leave," Kelly said. "The government of Sri Lanka should abide by its April 27th statement that combat operations have concluded and security forces should end the use of heavy weapons which of course could cause civilian casualties."

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