Police officer killings shock Sri Lanka

AFP – Two police officers were shot dead execution-style while manning a checkpost in Sri Lanka’s former war zone, officials said Friday.

The victims had their hands tied behind their backs and had been shot in the head, according to authorities, and their weapons had been taken.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the shooting shattered the relative calm in the region where fighting between troops and Tamil rebels ended over a decade ago.

The country’s police chief, Inspector General Pujith Jayasundara, led a team of detectives to Batticaloa, 300 kilometres (187 miles) east of Colombo after the double murder.

Sri Lanka’s largest political party, the United National Party (UNP), told parliament Friday that it feared the killings had  been carried out to exploit the political instability which erupted late last month.

The country has been at a virtual standstill since President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse.

But parliament, where the UNP enjoys a majority, has refused to acknowledge the Rajapakse government.

Sri Lanka’s parliament has already voted to stop spending by Rajapakse and his disputed cabinet ministers until the political crisis is resolved.

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