Sri Lanka refugees rise to 21,000: UN

Apr.30 (AFP) – Up to 21,000 people have fled their homes following the latest spike in violence in Sri Lanka’s northeastern district of Trincomalee, the United Nations said Sunday. A bomb attack on the main market in the town of Trincomalee, 260 kilometres (160 miles) northeast of Colombo, on April 12 killed at least 17 people, while last week’s government air strikes left at least a dozen people dead.

-Amal Jayasinghe UN agencies have begun delivering aid to the refugees in rebel-held parts of Trincomalee where government forces carried out air attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday, a UN office here said.

“Altogether there is an established recent case load of some 6,000 families or about 21,000 people,” the office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka said in a statement.

“The UN agencies are starting immediate deliveries of aid to affected areas.”

A few thousand residents had already been displaced in the district prior to the air strikes, which followed a suicide bombing by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels against army chief Sarath Fonseka in the capital Colombo on Tuesday.

There had been no fresh attacks since the military stopped the air strikes on