Sri Lanka: intelligence officer gunned down in Colombo

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a senior Sri Lankan military intelligence officer, the Defense Ministry said today.

Lt. Col. Rizwi Meedin, who commanded the army's intelligence unit in Colombo, was shot late Saturday night, said Brig. Nalin Witharanage, the spokesman for the Defense Ministry.

"The officer had gone out in the night for some work and his wife got a call around midnight with the caller telling her that her husband has been shot," Witharanage said.

"We found him in the driver seat of his car with bullet wounds on his head and neck," Witharanage said. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

Witharanage said officers were investigating the killing, adding that Meedin had received death threats from Tamil Tiger rebels. Meedin had previously been involved in investigating the rebels.

On May 31, another commanding officer of the intelligence unit, Maj. Nizam Mutaliph, was killed in Colombo. The government blamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for the killing.

Most of the deaths have been blamed on the rebels who are seeking self-rule in ethnic Tamil-dominated areas in Sri Lanka's northeast.

Peace talks between the rebels and the government have faltered since 2003, reported AP.

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