Roadside bomb blast kills priest in Sri Lanka

April 20th, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, April 20 (DPA) A Christian priest and rights activist was killed in a roadside bomb attack in a rebel-controlled area in northern Sri Lanka, a pro-rebel website said Sunday. The Tamilnet website said Reverend M X Karunaratnam was killed in a claymore mine blast in the Wanni district, 270 km north of the capital Sunday.

The website claimed that the army’s deep penetration unit had infiltrated the rebel-controlled area and carried out the attack, a claim denied by the military.

The priest was the chairman of the North East Secretariat on Human Rights which has been critical of human rights violations by the security forces and had played a key role in providing psychological support for those affected by the ongoing conflict.

Security forces are known to have infiltrated rebel controlled areas and ambushed rebels in the past.

Meanwhile at least 14 rebels were killed in fighting in northern Sri Lanka in six separate incidents Saturday.

Government troops have launched a major offensive to recapture rebel-controlled areas in the north and this year the military has claimed killing over 2,500 rebels and lost at least 300 security personnel in the confrontations.


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