Aid workers’ bodies to be exhumed in Sri Lanka

Oct 14, 2006 (AFP) – The bodies of 15 aid workers massacred in Sri Lanka will be exhumed next week in a fresh bid to determine who killed them, their French employer said Saturday as sporadic fighting continued in the troubled north of the island. The aid victims were among 17 mostly Tamil workers with the Paris-based Action Against Hunger (ACF) who were gunned down August 4 at their offices in eastern Sri Lanka’s Muttur town.

The bodies of two of the dead have already been exhumed and sent to Colombo.

The remaining bodies are expected to be retrieved Wednesday, ACF said in a statement.

“The exhumation will occur on the 18th October and will make possible a new post mortem … the bodies should be transferred to Colombo the same day,” the charity said.

Australian experts are expected in Colombo next week to be present at the autopsies, principally as observers and advisers, ACF added.

The killings came during a period of heavy fighting between the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE).

The 13 men and four women, aged 23 to 54, worked mostly as engineers on water sanitation and farm projects for the charity.

Nordic truce monitors have blamed the killings, the worst attack against aid workers sin