Tigers kill 10 Sri Lanka villagers: defence ministry

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

February 21, 2009 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels gunned down 10 civilians, including two children, and wounded five more in eastern Sri Lanka on Saturday, the defence ministry said.

Gunmen from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) overran the village of Kirimetiya on Saturday evening and began shooting at residents, the ministry said.

“The LTTE terrorists have stormed the Kirimetiya village and opened fire at civilians indiscriminately,” the ministry said in a statement, adding the villagers were mainly farmers.

The motive for the killing was unclear, but the ministry said the Tiger guerrillas were known to target members of the majority Sinhalese community in the multi-ethnic region.

The report of the massacre came a day after Tiger rebels flew light aircraft into the capital and staged a suicide bombing against the main tax office there.

The guerrillas lost their mini state in the north-east of the island to advancing government forces earlier this year. The remaining rebels are facing a major onslaught aimed at defeating them after 37 years of fighting.