Sri Lanka steps up probe into deaths of Tamil rebels

Sri Lanka has stepped up a probe into charges that security forces were involved in the killing of four Tamil rebels earlier this month in a bid to ease tension in the volatile northeast. Sri Lanka has stepped up a probe into charges that security forces were involved in the killing of four Tamil rebels earlier this month in a bid to ease tension in the volatile northeast. President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s spokesman Tuesday said she ordered a broad investigation to identify those responsible for the deaths of the unarmed rebels which sparked a wave of bombings in the northeast coastal region.

“Police, military and civilian authorities have been asked to report back on the overall situation with a specific focus on the killing of the four LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) members that led to the recent unrest,” spokesman Harim Peiris told AFP.

He said the investigators were specifically asked to look into LTTE allegations that the gunmen responsible for the July 10 slayings had travelled through security checkpoints without being challenged.

“This is the kind of thing we want investigated in order to identify the perpetrators,” Peiris said. “We hope this multi-faceted in