Sri Lankan army calls execution video a fabrication

August 26, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s military on Wednesday said a disturbing video clip broadcast in Britain allegedly showing its troops executing prisoners was a fabrication designed to “discredit” its armed forces. The footage, aired by Channel 4 in Britain, was apparently shot during the final stages of the army’s defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists, with the rebels officially vanquished in May after nearly four decades of ethnic bloodshed.

Army spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said it was likely the men shooting the prisoners while wearing what appears to be Sri Lankan army uniform were in fact Tiger rebels.

“This was said to have been filmed at a time when the Tigers too were operating dressed in military uniforms,” Nanayakkara said.

The footage shows a man dressed in army uniform shooting a naked, bound and blindfolded man in the back of the head, while the bodies of eight others can be seen nearby in a muddy field.

It was not clear if the dead were Tiger rebels or civilians. A 10th man was also shot in the same way towards the end of the video with men in the background gloating over the killings.

In its report, Channel 4 stressed it could not verify the authenticity of the video, w