Asian conflicts exact heavy civilian toll in 2009 — Amnesty

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LONDON, May 27, 2010 (AFP) – Asian conflicts took a brutal toll on civilians in 2009, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless, destitute and often ignored by governments responsible for their misery, Amnesty said Thursday.

From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, civilians caught up in fighting between government forces and insurgents were left to fend for themselves, with international monitors repeatedly denied access to the worst-affected regions.

In its annual global report, which focused on a lack of accountability for even the most glaring human rights violations, Amnesty International highlighted the plight of non-combatants during the final months of the war in Sri Lanka.

Between January and May 2009, some 300,000 civilians found themselves trapped between government troops and the remnants of the once powerful Tamil Tiger rebel army.

By the time of the Tigers’ final defeat in May, some 7,000 civilians had died, according to the UN estimates, amid well-documented reports of abuses on both sides.

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