Sri Lanka army to stop using heavy weapons: govt

April 27, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s military has been ordered to stop using heavy guns and combat aircraft that could cause civilian casualties in the battle against Tamil Tiger rebels, the government said Monday.

The Sri Lankan government says its forces have cornered the Tamil Tigers in a small strip of coastal territory in the northeast but has come under international pressure amid reports of heavy civilian casualties.

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s office said in a statement that the government had “decided that combat operations have reached their conclusion,” although military operations were continuing.

“Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy calibre guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties,” the statement said.