Red Cross workers killed in Sri Lanka despite security pledge

June 3, 2007 (AFP) – Gunmen claiming to be police have abducted and shot dead two Red Cross employees in Sri Lanka barely a week after the country pledged greater security for aid workers, the charity told AFP Sunday. The Geneva-based charity said the bullet-riddled bodies of S. Shanmungaligam and K. Chandramohan were discovered late Saturday in the central town of Ratnapura, hours after they were abducted from the main railway station in Colombo.

“The two were part of a group of six aid workers brought from Batticaloa (in the island’s east) for a training programme related to tsunami relief work last week,” Sri Lanka Red Cross director general Neville Nanayakkara told AFP.

The deaths are the worst attack against aid workers here since the massacre of 17 French charity workers in August.

“Some people in civil clothes said they were from the police and wanted to see the identity cards of the six workers,” Nanayakkara said. “They took away two of them saying it was for further questioning.”

He said they were alerted to the bodies found in Ratnapura after a local television channel on Saturday night showed images of unidentified victims found in the area.

Nanayakkara said he had informed the