Toll of aid workers killed in Sri Lanka rises to 17

TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, Aug 8, 2006 (AFP) – Police have recovered the bodies of 17 aid workers employed by the Paris-based Charity Action Against Hunger (ACF) and autopsies were underway Tuesday, officials said. The aid agency and authorities had initially thought that 15 ACF staff were shot dead at work in the nearby coastal town of Muttur at the weekend during fighting between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, but 17 bodies were found.

“The bodies were brought in three vehicles early this morning and autopsies are now being held,” a hospital official said.

ACF officials said all 17 were their employees. Both government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels have blamed each other for the massacre.