Four bodies apparently executed found in SL
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Four bodies apparently executed found in SL

Police found the bodies of four men who had apparently been executed in northern Sri Lanka.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 09:57 IST

Police found the bodies of four men who had apparently been executed in northern Sri Lanka, and were probing two bus bombings blamed on Tamil rebels that killed at least 21 people.

Police recovered two bodies with gunshot wounds to their heads in a house under construction near the garrison town of Vavuniya, said Police Chief EM Dharmadasa. The victims were ethnic Tamils. It was unclear, however, if they were associated with the separatist Tamil rebels or their opponents.

The bodies of two other men, also found on Sunday, were found with ropes around their necks on the bank of a lake elsewhere in Vavuniya, the last government-held town before Tiger-held territory, Dharmadasa said. He said the two appeared to have been strangled. Their ethnicities were not immediately known.

The Tigers have been fighting for two decades for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils in the north and east, because of discrimination at the hands of the majority-Sinhalese government.

The latest deaths came as the government said three more people had been detained for questioning over two bus blasts that killed at least 21 people and wounded dozens more Friday and Saturday. The military blamed the rebels for the blasts. On Saturday, a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber triggered an explosion on a bus in the coastal town of Meetiyagoda, 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital, Colombo, killing 15 people and wounding 40 more.

A day earlier, a bus bomb also blamed on the Tigers killed at least six people just northeast of Colombo.

Still, the government Sunday reaffirmed its commitment to a negotiated settlement with the separatists, and urged them to resume peace talks.

The rebels have denied any involvement in either of the bus bombings.

At least 10 people were detained for questioning after the first blast, but some have been released, said military spokesman, Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe.

Under Sri Lanka's present emergency regulations, suspects can be held indefinitely without charge.

First Published: Jan 08, 2007 09:57 IST