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UN see pattern in Sri Lanka aid worker killings

GENEVA, June 7, 2007 (AFP) - The murder of two Red Cross workers in Sri Lanka appears to be part of a trend in which aid workers are deliberately targeted, two United Nations human rights experts said Thursday.

Sri Lankan Red Cross workers Sinnarasa Shanmugalingam and Karthekesu Chandramohan were abducted in the capital Colombo last Friday and murdered by armed men claiming to be police, the Red Cross said. They were based in the conflict-wracked eastern town of Batticaloa.

Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Hina Jilani, the special representative of the UN secretary general on human rights defenders, urged the Sri Lankan government to quickly investigate the killings with international assistance.

"This is another outrageous act in an apparent trend of deliberate targeting of aid workers, which severely jeopardizes and impedes their ability to deliver humanitarian assistance in a secure environment," they said in a statement.

They underlined that the killing of 17 local employees of the French charity Action contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger), in the northeastern coastal town of Muttur in August last year, has still to be solve

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