S.Lanka rebels say responsible for attacks
Tue 10 Jun 2008.
A little known Sri Lankan rebel group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for recent bomb attacks on transport vehicles as revenge for what it said were government attacks and aerial bombings on innocent Tamil civilians.
The military has blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for a series of train and bus blasts in capital Colombo and central Sri Lanka in which at least 32 people were killed and over 100 wounded.
We want to claim that we are responsible for the bomb attacks on the transport vehicles and other attacks," Ellalan Force, which the military says is a Tiger-linked group, said in an e-mail to Reuters.
The attacks have been carried out as a "stern reply" to the government forces' Long Range Reconnaissance Petrol (LRRP) attack and aerial bombing on innocent civilians, the Ellalan Force said in the mail.
"The LRRP attacks and the aerial bombings on Tamil innocent civilians must stop. The Sinhalese must understand (the) situation clearly and think about why the 'Ellalan Force' continue their attacks."
Twenty-six Tamil civilians have been killed in three LRRP attacks and an aerial bombing in rebel stronghold of the Mullateevu area in the north since May 23, the group claimed.
The mail also urges Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese ethnic group to put pressure on the government to stop killing innocent Tamils.
The military strongly denies any LRRP involvements in killing Tamil civilians.
"Our LRRP never attack innocent civilians. LRRP is doing their attacks targeting LTTE cadres with arms," military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told Reuters.
"Ellalan Force is some LTTE-connected group. They wanted to somehow attack civilians, and get the provocation from the civilian forces and get the international attention for their work," he said.
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Published: Tue Jun 10 08:52:40 EDT 2008