3 blindfolded bodies found in northern Sri Lanka

Police on Wednesday found the bodies of three blindfolded men with stab wounds on a roadside in northern Sri Lanka , an official said. The victims, found in northern Vavuniya district, had not yet been identified, senior superintendent of police Jagath Abeysirigunawardena said.

It was not immediately clear whether the killings were linked to the ongoing violence in Sri Lanka 's Tamil-majority north and east that threatens a four-year-old cease-fire between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Vavuniya, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the capital Colombo , is a government garrison town with a large Tamil population, near the frontier with Tamil Tiger-held territory.

Witnesses at the scene said the victims were blindfolded and their mouths plastered and that the bodies bore many stab wounds. More than 150 people mostly government security forces have been killed in the past month in violence that government mostly blames on Tamil Tiger rebels. The rebels have countered with allegations that the military has targeted rebels and Tamil civilians.

Last week, police recovered six headless male corpses in different parts of the country, in killings that remain unresolved. Tamil Tiger rebels launched a fight against the government in 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing majority Sinhalese of discrimination. More than 65,000 people were killed in the conflict before a cease-fire in 2002, reports the AP.


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