Sri Lanka’s Tigers kill five civilians: military

April 12, 2009 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels killed five farmers in southern Sri Lanka on Sunday in an apparent revenge attack for military operations against them elsewhere, the army said. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters killed the farmers in the Buttala area in the far south, more than 300 kilometers (187 miles) away from the main battleground.

“They have opened fire at farmers in the Mahagodayaya village in Buttala area today,” a military official in the area said by telephone.

“They seem to have gone for a soft target because they are facing defeat in the north.”

There was no immediate comment from the Tamil Tigers who have been accused of attacking civilians to avenge military setbacks elsewhere in the country.

The main Tamil Tiger fighting force has been cornered in the north-eastern district of Mullaittivu and the government has declared a 48-hour ceasefire starting Monday to allow civilians trapped in the conflict area to leave.