Military

By 24 May 2009, an area across the street from the original graveyard in this image has been cleared and is also being used for burials. AAAS analysis suggested that 342 new graves were dug at this si

Satellite images Show Mass Graves in Sri Lanka

Fri, 14 August 2009 04:50

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(NIDAHASA News) A series of satellite images shows existence of large grave sites and evidence of possible mortar positions near areas in former war zone of Sri Lanka, which had been packed with trapped civilians, Amnesty International human rights group says.

Those images intended to challenge Sri Lanka government claims that the military had stopped using heavy weapons in the final months of its war against the LTTE.

U.N. reports show more than 7,000 civilians were killed in fighting between mid-January and May, when the military routed the remaining LTTE fighters. Rights groups accused the government of heavily shelling civilian areas and the LTTE of holding tens of thousands of noncombatants as human shields. Both sides denied the accusations.

Amnesty International, which called for an independent investigation into the final stages of the war, said in a statement that the analysis of satellite images from the final battlefield has identified "three different graveyards, counting a total of 1,346 likely graves."

An April 19 image of one area showed no graves, but a May 24 image showed the existence of a new graveyard with an estimated 342 graves, according to the London-based rights group. It said it was not possible to tell whether the graves hold civilians or rebel fighters.

The satellite images were analyzed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Previous satellite images of the war zone showed densely populated civilian areas that appeared to have been shelled.

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