Sri Lanka's army disbanded the mostly ineffective "safe zone" it had established in the war-wracked north and set up a new refuge Thursday for the tens of thousands of civilians still trapped.
Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the government set up a new haven because the Tamil Tiger rebels forced most of the civilians seeking shelter from the fighting out of the original one.
The two sides have been fighting heavy battles since government troops overran the rebels' de facto state in the north and boxed them into a tiny strip of land along the northeast coast. The military says it has pushed the insurgents to the brink of defeat and hopes to soon end the 25-year-old civil war.