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Boat carrying refugees capsizes in the sea

December 15, 2006

By Walter Jayawardhana

Valaichenai Police said at least one child died and six others were missing after a a boat of fleeing refugees capsized off Eastern Batticaloa District.

It was not revealed why the boat capsized but Valachchenai Police said the many were admitted to the town’s hospital out of which the ten year old girl had died.

The people were fleeing from Vahara, where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is engaged in heavy fighting with the security forces of the Sri Lanka government.

The ten year old girl who died in the hospital has been identified as Anandarasa Meena. Five others who were rescued from the capsized boat are also admitted in the hospital. Six other people who were also passengers in the boat are missing the police said.

Thousands of people who were prevented of leaving the Vahara area by the LTTE have managed to escape both by land routes as well as by sea, refugees who came out of the area have told aid agencies.

People who came to the government controlled areas have been sent to temporary refugee camps, the Batticaloa based refugee services said.

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