Lankan village councillor killed

Associated Press

Colombo, July 21:

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed a village councillor in eastern Sri Lanka, where growing violence threatens a fragile ceasefire between the Tamil Tiger rebels and the government, police said today. Marimuthu Baskaran, 54, was shot dead by two men late yesterday in Kalmunai village, 40 km south of the town of Batticaloa, said police officer CI Sushantha.

There was no claim of responsibility. Officials were investigating whether the rebels killed Baskaran. The Tigers often target military and intelligence officials, but attacks on civilian government employees are rare.