[ United Nations Security Council ]
In Sri Lanka, strict compliance with international humanitarian law was all the more critical with the intensification of fighting in the Vanni region and reports of intermittent artillery fire in civilian populated areas in recent weeks. He said the scale of humanitarian needs was difficult to gauge, given restricted humanitarian access due to the intensified fighting and the relocation of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations from rebel-held areas in mid-September. He was, however, concerned that some 350,000 civilians were trapped in an increasingly confined space and effectively prevented from leaving by Tamil Tiger rebels. That raised serious concerns about the use of civilians to render areas immune from military operations, he added.