Eleven Muslims killed in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sept 18, 2006 (AFP) – The bodies of 11 Muslim men hacked to death were found in eastern Sri Lanka Monday, police said as Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces blamed each other for the massacre.

The victims were labourers working on an irrigation project in the eastern Ampara district and had been killed by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the defence ministry said in a statement.

“The Tiger terrorists have massacred 11 Muslim civilians who had gone to repair an anicut (minor irrigation dam),” the statement said.

The Tigers denied involvement and said it was the work of government forces.

“The LTTE condemns the massacre of 11 Muslim workers,” the Tigers said in a statement sent here from their political headquarters in the northern rebel-held town of Kilinochchi.

The statement said the massacre took place in a Sri Lankan government controlled area where there is a military camp.

“The Sri Lankan military is adopting its long tradition of blaming the LTTE for the atrocities it commits,” the Tigers said.

The military insisted that the killings were the work of the Tigers.

“This act by the Tiger terrorists indicate that not only are they out