COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- With food and medical aid rapidly depleting in the face of an escalating conflict in northern Sri Lanka, humanitarian aid workers say the situation is dire.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday the conditions in the Vanni district of northern Sri Lanka are increasingly becoming more hostile to civilians. Officials say the violence forced aid workers to move 226 injured patients out of the conflict region Friday.
The Sri Lankan army is targeting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam militant group in its remaining strongholds in the north of the country. The growing intensity of the ongoing conflict is causing significant obstacles for the ICRC, which, officials say, is having trouble getting the wounded out of harm's way via a secured convoy.
"The wounded and sick had to wait for days before being transferred safely," Paul Castella, head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo, the capital, said in a statement.
"It is essential that there be more such convoys, so that the sick and wounded will have access to vital medical treatment and humanitarian aid will reach civilians in the Vanni (district)," he said.