The High Cost of Sri Lanka's 25-year Civil War

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Two days of shelling in Sri Lanka's northern war zone killed at least 430 civilians, with some estimates putting the number as high as 1,000. The Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tiger rebels traded accusations over the shelling. The United Nations called the artillery barrages a "bloodbath" that killed more than 100 children, and a coalition of international human rights groups called for the U.N. Security Council to hold formal talks on the war. The Sri Lankan military has twice said it would stop using heavy weaponry against the Tamils, who are surrounded by tens of thousands of civilians in a narrow strip of land along Sri Lanka's coastline. U.N. figures compiled last month showed that nearly 6,500 civilians had been killed in three months of fighting as the government drove the rebels out of their strongholds in the north in a bid to end the 25-year long civil war. The unrest has also displaced thousands of civilians, a situation that is leading the beleaguered nation into a widespread humanitarian crisis. The Takeaway looks at the increasingly violent civil war in Sri Lanka, with BBC Correspondent Charles Haviland and Manivanna Thirumalai of the BBC's Tamil Service.