Colombo, Feb 25 (ANI): About 9,000 people died in the war-torn north of Sri Lanka during the controversial final stages of the bloody civil war against Tamil rebels in 2009, according to a government report.
According to Sri Lankan government statistics, over 7,000 of the deaths appear to be directly related to the military battle three years ago.
The Department of Census and Statistics' report, which is the first set of government figures given for casualties, contained information gathered by officials interviewing people in the north of the country.
The report stated that in the first five months of 2009, the climax of the war, nearly 7,400 people died of undefined or "other" causes.
According to The BBC, this suggested that rather than natural causes, accident, homicide or suicide, the deaths were caused by the fighting.
The figures also showed that over 2,600 people went missing throughout 2009.
It is, however, unclear whether the figures include only civilians or also Tamil Tiger fighters, but the report accords with recent Sri Lankan government admissions that its side did kill some civilians, after first saying it killed none.
The death toll figure by the government is much lower than the estimated 40,000 deaths given by a report commissioned by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon last year. (ANI)
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