ICRC unable to transport bodies

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 June 1999, 08:08 GMT]
The bodies handed over to Mannar hospital by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) yesterday are to be buried in Mannar in the presence of the ICRC, sources said. The SLA says the bodies are those of LTTE fighters killed in recent fighting.

Although there had been an arrangement to hand over the bodies to the LTTE through the ICRC officials, sources said that the later had informed that they were unable to transport the bodies to the Vanni as agreed earlier.

"Therefore the bodies will be buried in Mannar in the presence of the ICRC delegates with the approval of the Courts" one source said.

Sources at Mannar Hospital said that the bodies are lying at a ward and the state of the bodies getting worse as there are no cooler facilities in the hospital.

Police sources said that one more body suspected to be that of an LTTE fighter was brought to Mannar hospital from the battle front late in the evening yesterday bringing the total number to 37.

Meanwhile, Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudha Ratwatte yesterday visited operational areas, sources said.

He was accompanied by the Sri Lankan military's service chiefs and he had discussions with the field commanders and assessed the situation at the war front.

SLA sources said they estimated 91 Liberation Tigers have been killed in two days of fighting in Phase II of Operation Rana Gosa 4.


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