Tamil separatist guerrillas massacred 26 people today in an attack on a Sinhalese village, the government said.
Government spokesman Tilak Ratnakara told Reuters that a large group of rebels stormed the village of Seruneva in the jungles of Anuradhapura district.
He said they shot or hacked to death 26 men, women and children, including some home guards, a civilian force armed by the military to defend villages. The victims belonged to the majority Sinhalese community.
The guerrillas are fighting for a separate homeland in the Northern and Eastern provinces for Tamils, who make up 12.6% of the 15 million people in the Sinhalese-dominated country.