Six LTTE suspects arrested for French policeman’s murder

February 24th, 2009 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 24 (IANS) Six suspected members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been arrested in Paris for the murder of a French policeman, a Sri Lankan diplomat said Tuesday.
The incident happened at around 9 p.m Saturday night when an armed policeman in civvies spotted the six collecting funds in the Tamil-dominated La Courneuve area, said Walter Jayawardhana, a press spokesman at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London.

Jayawardhana, quoting from reports from the Sri Lankan embassy in Paris, said a scuffle ensued when the policeman challenged the group,

“During the scuffle, the policeman took out his gun for self-protection, but it dropped. One of the Tamils then picked it up and shot him, seriously wounding him.

“He was lying on the street bleeding profusely for half an hour before a passerby saw him and called an ambulance.

“The policeman died immediately after being admitted to a Paris hospital,” Jayawardhana told IANS, adding the six included a woman.

The gun was later found in a dustbin in front of a house belonging to a man named only as Kandiah. He is described as the chief fund-collector for the LTTE in Paris.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a television programme Sunday that the killing was “a very serious incident” and that authorities would take stern action against the culprits.

The incident follows the detention of eight Tamils during a protest outside the Indian embassy in Paris last week against alleged Indian help to the Sri Lankan Army in the ongoing war against the LTTE in the northeast of the country.

The eight were detained after the protest by the Tamil Coordinating Council, described by Jayawardhana as “the LTTE front in Paris”, turned violent and a car belonging to the Indian embassy was damaged in stone-throwing.

Although the LTTE is banned in France, members of front-organisations are said to be active in raising funds.

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