Suspected Tamil Tiger rebel fatally shot farmer in Sri Lanka

A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel fatally shot a farmer Friday in the latest violence in volatile eastern Sri Lanka, the area's police chief said.

U.N. Zaiudeen was shot as he was preparing to harvest his rice crop in the eastern coastal district of Ampara, said Deputy Inspector General of Police Nihal Karunaratne.

It wasn't clear what prompted the attack on Zaiudeen, a Muslim. There was no claim of responsibility and the rebels did not mention the incident on their Web sites.

"He died after we brought him to the hospital and he told our people that he was shot by a Tiger," Karunaratne said, referring to the separatist rebel group.

Muslims _ Sri Lanka's second-largest minority after ethnic Tamils, generally oppose the Tamil Tigers, who have accused Muslims of supporting the government. The rebels also oppose Muslims cultivating land in the area, which they consider Tamil territory.

During two decades of civil war that was halted by a 2002 cease-fire, the rebels carried out systematic killings of Muslims, including a massacre in August 1990 of 130 Muslims at two mosques on the same day, reports the AP.


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