Sri Lanka rejects disturbing new ‘war pictures’ as lies

November 12, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Friday rejected as “lies” new photographs broadcast by Al-Jazeera of piles of dead bodies and execution-style killings allegedly taken during the final stages of the island’s ethnic war. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Qatar-based television network had mixed images previously shown on a British television channel with “fabricated” photographs.

The “footage on the killings is nothing but lies,” Rambukwella said in a statement. It added that the Al-Jazeera report was a collection of “bits and pieces” from a previous clip which the government dismissed as a fabrication.

Broadcaster Al-Jazeera said it had obtained the images from an unnamed Tamil source who said they had been taken by a member of Sri Lanka’s military, which wiped out Tamil rebels in May last year.

Some of the disturbing photographs show bodies with twisted limbs piled on the back of a trailer, others show almost naked corpses, blindfolded and with hands bound behind their backs, lying in shallow graves.

Al-Jazeera said it was unable to verify their authenticity, adding that it was unknown if the bodies had been collected after a clean-up or were the result of a massacre.

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