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US embassy photo, tweet about civil war anger Sri Lanka military

Published on Jan 10, 2014 4:29 AM
Members of the Federation of National Organization (FNO) gather in front of the US Embassy during a protest in Colombo January 9, 2014. The protesters are demonstrating against a visit by US Ambassador-at-Large, Office of Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Rapp who will be in Sri Lanka till January 11. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

COLOMBO (REUTERS) - The US embassy in Colombo posted a photograph on Twitter on Thursday which it said showed a site where the Sri Lankan army killed hundreds of families towards the end of the civil war in 2009, prompting an angry response from the military.

The final few months of the 26-year conflict were by far the bloodiest, and the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels blame each other for the deaths of tens of thousands of mainly Tamil civilians.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government, which ended the war in May 2009 by crushing the rebellion, is sensitive to criticism at a time of growing international pressure to investigate allegations of war crimes by the armed forces.

The United Nations has called on Sri Lanka to punish those in the military who were involved in atrocities, and a summit of Commonwealth leaders in the capital Colombo in November was overshadowed by the dispute.

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