Suspected rebels kill 13 people in Sri Lanka
Assailants abducted 14 Sinhalese labourers from Mhasenpura village in Sri Lanka and shot all but one of them to death.Updated: May 30, 2006 14:46 IST
Assailants raided a village in eastern Sri Lanka, abducted 14 Sinhalese labourers and shot all but one of them to death, police said on Tuesday.
The government blamed the attack on Tamil Tiger rebels, but the insurgents denied involvement.
It was not immediately clear why the assailants launched the attack late on Monday at a state-run immigration project in Mhasenpura village near Batticaloa.
One of the victims managed to escape, said Deputy Inspector General of Police Nihal Karunaratne said.
"A group of about 25 came to the village, spotted the house where these people were staying and took them away," Karunaratne said.
"We have information that 13 were shot and killed." Karunaratne and government officials said the Tamil Tiger rebels were suspected in the attack, but the separatist rebels denied that.
"We have no involvement in these killings at all," Seevaratnam Puleedevan, a top rebel official told the agency by satellite phone from the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi.
"We always condemn killing of civilians, they may be Tamils, Sinhalese or Muslims," he said.
A Sri Lankan government spokesman called the attack a plot by the rebels to provoke a Sinhalese backlash.
First Published: May 30, 2006 13:11 IST