Apr. 25 (AFP) – Tension gripped Sri Lanka’s north-eastern Trincomalee district Tuesday after an overnight killing of a hotel owner police say was designed to provoke inter-communal riots. The man was gunned down around midnight on the same day suspected Tamil Tiger rebels hacked to death a mother feeding her baby, police said.
“The latest victim has been supporting Sinhalese associations in Trincomalee,” a local police officer said by telephone. “This killing is adding to the tension and we have stepped up security.”
The man was gunned down despite a night curfew across the region, police said.
The mother was chopped to pieces at Seeruwila, also in Trincomalee, in one of the most gruesome killings in recent times, defence ministry spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said.
“This is a killing clearly aimed at provoking a communal backlash. They want to create a refugee situation,” he said of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The Tigers shot dead six farmers from the majority Sinhalese community in the same area late Sunday.
There was no immediate reaction from the guerrillas.
Attempts by peace broker Norway to get the government and Tamil rebels to resume cea