French aid group to review Sri Lanka presence after bloodiest hit

Aug 7, 2006 (AFP) – A French aid agency said Monday it would review its presence in Sri Lanka after 15 of its workers were found shot dead in the worst attack since its inception 25 years ago. Paris-based Action Against Hunger, or ACF, said 11 men and four women, all Sri Lankans, had been killed in the town of Muttur, where they helped survivors of the December 2004 tsunami and people affected by violence between troops and Tamil rebels.

“Our Muttur office had been providing safe drinking water to the people in the area and from early this year we were also providing relief to people affected by the escalating violence,” ACF head of mission in Sri Lanka, Eric Fort, told AFP in Colombo.

There was no claim of responsibility for the massacre of the aid workers from the minority Tamil community, but the Tamil Tiger rebels accused the government while the military pointed fingers at the Tigers.

“We did not have people in that area at the time they were supposed to have been killed,” government military spokesman Upali Rajapakse said. “Their office is not located in an area where we carried out artillery attacks.”

But rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) official S. Puleedeva