Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have denied any involvement in last night’s killing of the country’s Foreign Minister. A massive security operation is underway following the assassination of Laksham Kadirgamar last night outside his home in the capital, Colombo. A state of emergency has been declared allowing the free deployment of troops amid fears of a return to civil war after a three and a half year ceasefire.
Despite the Tigers denial, police say the attack bears all the hallmarks of the militant separatist group which is fighting for independence in the east of the island. President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Kadirgamar was killed by “political foes” but stopped short of accusing the Tigers.
A Tamil himself, Kadirgamar, was a fierce opponent of the rebels and was subsequently one of the most highly protected members of the government. The incident came a day after the militants warned authorities that their refusal to hunt down and disarm a Tamil splinter group could rekindle a war that has already claimed more than 64,000 lives.