French charity confirms grisly details on slayings

8th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 8, 2006 (AFP) - Seventeen employees of a French charity found dead in northeastern Sri Lanka at the weekend were all killed by gunfire, the group confirmed on Tuesday.

PARIS, Aug 8, 2006 (AFP) - Seventeen employees of a French charity found dead in northeastern Sri Lanka at the weekend were all killed by gunfire, the group confirmed on Tuesday.

"A team sent to the scene by Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger, ACF) on Monday was able to confirm the toll and recover — despite the ongoing fighting — the 17 bodies to Trincomalee hospital," it said in a statement.

Most of the victims, 13 men and four women aged 23 to 54, were engineers specialised in water sanitation and agronomy and project managers, it said.

The charity workers — all Sri Lankan nationals — were found dead on Sunday in their office in the northeastern town of Muttur, where heavy fighting has pitted Sri Lankan troops against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Troops and the Tigers have blamed each other for the execution-style killings.

ACF director Benoit Miribel is to head to Sri Lanka Wednesday to attend ceremonies commemorating the dead and oversee the launch of an independent investigation.

Following the massacre, the charity suspended its local mission to Sri Lanka, whose 15 expatriate and 224 local workers provided humanitarian relief in conflict zones and in areas hit by the December 2004 Tsumani.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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