Sri Lanka
Four civilians killed in Sri Lanka
Apr 14, 2007 - 1:43:05 PM

Colombo, April 14 - Four civilians were killed by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's eastern district of Batticaloa, police said Saturday.

Two children and two elders were shot dead by unidentified gunmen who entered a house Friday 9.00 p.m. - at Eravur.

The rival Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal - of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - claimed that the two elders were their members and blamed the LTTE for the attack.

Karuna, who was once the LTTE's powerful eastern commander, heads the TMVP. He broke ranks with the mainstream Tamil Tigers in early 2004 triggering bitter internecine clashes.

The mainstream LTTE accuses government troops of carrying out attacks against them by using members of the renegade Karuna faction.

Scores of civilians have been killed in Eastern Province during the last two months.

The escalation of the conflict since the end of 2005 have jeopardized the Norwegian backed peace process aimed at negotiating a political solution to one of the world's longest running conflicts.

The LTTE seeks a separate homeland for the minority Tamils in Northern and Eastern provinces claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhalese majority.

Near 70,000 have been killed in the armed conflict since the mid-1980s.

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