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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 13:14 GMT
Soldiers acquitted in Sri Lanka
Judicial officials in Sri Lanka say a High Court jury has acquitted 18 Sri Lankan soldiers accused of massacring a group of Tamil villagers a decade ago.

Thirty-five villagers died in the incident, which took place in August 1992 at the height of the civil war between government forces and Tamil separatists.

Fourteen of those killed were children.

After the jury delivered its unanimous "not guilty" verdict on Monday, the High Court judge, a Tamil, asked them to reconsider.

The jury took another three hours, but returned the same "not guilty" verdict on Tuesday.

The prosecutor said the soldiers attacked the village of Mylanthanai, after the army's commanding officer in Jaffna was killed along with seven soldiers in a landmine explosion earlier the same day.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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