Civilians must be protected after latest bombing in Colombo

The civilians were reportedly killed while members of the LTTE --

armed with rocket-propelled grenades -- shot indiscriminately through busy

traffic. The LTTE members were fleeing after a failed attack thought to

have been aimed at an as yet unidentified dignitary returning from

parliament.

'Both the security forces and the LTTE must respect the lives of

civilians in the area,' Amnesty International said.

Hundreds of security force personnel are currently searching for the

four LTTE members suspected of involvement in the attack and reported to be

hiding in a large apartment complex in the area. To Amnesty International's

knowledge, no civilians have been so far moved out of these apartments.

'Under international humanitarian standards all parties to a conflict

must refrain from direct attacks on civilians or indiscriminate attacks and

are obliged to take all necessary measures to prevent civilian casualties,'

Amnesty International said.

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