Five Tamil rebel gunmen pulled a local government official out of his car and killed him in the northwestern town of Mannar, police said Saturday.
Mohammed Makbool was killed Friday night because he ignored the Tamils' warning against cooperating with Indian peacekeeping troops, according to a senior police official who spoke on condition of anonymity. An estimated 25,000 Indian soldiers are in Sri Lanka to enforce a peace pact aimed at ending the civil war Tamil rebels began four years ago for an independent homeland.
Makbool was Mannar's government agent, the senior civil servant in the town 140 miles north of Colombo. Makbool, the third government agent killed by Tamil rebels, was a Moor, the name given to descendants of Arabs and Muslim traders who landed on the island several centuries ago.