U.N. demands safety for Sri Lankan civilians

[CNN]

Mounting violence between rebel fighters and government troops along northern Sri Lanka has prompted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to call for the safety of civilians as humanitarian groups try to provide aid to some 250,000 people trapped in the region. “The secretary-general is deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of civilians caught in intensified fighting in the Vanni region of Sri Lanka,” a spokesman for Ban said in a statement Monday. Ban called on the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers to respect “no-fire zones” and civilians areas, including schools, hospitals and humanitarian posts. He also asked both sides to allow the 250,000 civilians trapped in the fighting to move to “safe areas.”

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