12 Sri Lankan workers killed execution-style

May 30, 2006 (AFP) – Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels lined up and shot dead 12 construction workers in an execution style massacre in the island’s restive eastern province, the military said Tuesday. A total of 14 construction workers from the majority Sinhalese community had been taken away by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday, military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said.

“The 12 bodies were found this afternoon,” he said, adding that the victims had been shot through their heads. The attackers had also torched a tractor a motorcycle used by the workers.

Samarasinghe said two men escaped with gunshot injuries and reported the shootings, which he claimed were “definitely the work of the LTTE”, to the police.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), however denied responsibility and condemned the murders.

“The LTTE condemns in no uncertain terms the killing of the … innocent Sinhala civilians in the east,” the guerrillas said in a statement. “The killing of innocent people cannot be justified under any circumstances.” The report of the massacre came as the European Union banned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).