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Report: U.N. failed civilians in Sri Lanka

Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:20 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- As the long civil war in Sri Lanka reached a bloody end in 2009, the United Nations failed to protect civilians, a leaked report says.

Charles Petrie, a former U.N. official who headed the investigation into the last months of the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels, told the BBC the draft that has become public "very much reflects the findings of the panel." He described it as the penultimate draft.

About 100,000 people are believed to have been killed during the 26-year war between Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, better known as the Tamil Tigers. Estimates of the number of people who died as the army closed in on the Tigers have been put at 40,000 or even higher.

"Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the U.N. to adequately respond ... during the final stages of the conflict and its aftermath, to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of civilians," the report said.

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