ITN news team told to leave Sri Lanka

LONDON: A British television news team was told to leave Sri Lanka after it broadcast a report carrying allegations of poor treatment of minority Tamils held in camps on the island nation, it said Saturday.

Correspondent Nick Paton-Walsh, producer Bessie Du and cameraman Matt Jasper were arrested and told to leave Sri Lanka, said ITN, which produces British broadcaster Channel 4's news bulletins.

The original report, broadcast on Tuesday, contained allegations of sexual abuse and claimed that dead bodies were left where they fell, as well as water and food shortfalls, all of which Colombo has denied.

"We will be seeking an explanation from the Sri Lankan government for this decision," an ITN spokesman said.

Colombo's security forces were on Saturday moving deeper into the little remaining territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in a conflict dating back to the 1970s that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The Sri Lankan government estimates that up to 20,000 civilians are being held by the Tamil Tigers as human shields. The United Nations has said the number could be as high as 50,000.