Colombo, Sri Lanka (BBN)- A major United Nations food convoy headed for northern Sri Lanka was on Thursday forced to turn back because of fresh fighting in the area between Government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The UN will seek renewed security assurances from both sides before attempting to make the route tomorrow morning, the world body’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne, said in a statement from Colombo, the capital.

The convoy – the second to be dispatched in as many weeks – had been headed for the northern area known as the Vanni in a bid to reach an estimated 230,000 civilians who have been displaced behind the lines of confrontation in the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, according to the statement.

Comprised of 50 trucks, the World Food Program (WFP) convoy was carrying 750 tons of food when it left the town of Vavuniya at lunchtime, and it was expected to reach its destination by Thursday evening, the UN said.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-17October08-12:34 AM (BST)