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Hand grenades thrown into Tamil newspaper office in Sri Lankan capital
Updated: 2005-08-20 21:54

Unidentified men threw two hand grenades into a Tamil newspaper office in Sri Lanka's capital on Saturday, but they did not explode, the military said, AP reported.

Three staff members were working in the branch office of the Sudar Oli newspaper, which is known for being accurate in reporting on the country's Tamil Tiger rebels.

Police are investigating and it is still not known who was behind the attack, military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said.

Several journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka in the past few years but no one has been convicted in any of the murders.

Attacks on ethnic Tamil journalists have increased since a split last year within the Tamil Tiger rebel group. The breakaway faction accuses most news organizations of favoring the mainstream faction and is widely suspected of being behind many of the attacks.

In May 2004, Iyathurai G. Nadesan, who worked for the independent Virakesari Tamil newspaper, was fatally shot in the eastern town of Batticaloa as he rode on a motorbike to his office.

This year, Dharmeratnam Sivaram, who ran the pro-rebel TamiNet Web site, was abducted on April 28, and his body was found the following day in the capital, Colombo.

Relangi Selvaraja, a popular Tamil broadcaster, was fatally shot eight days ago along with her husband at a shop they ran in Colombo. They reportedly were supporters of a Tamil political party which opposes the rebels.

The Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for minority ethnic Tamils in the country's north and east, claiming discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. The conflict killed nearly 65,000 people before a cease-fire signed in February 2002.

Post-truce peace talks have been stalled since 2003 over rebel demands for wide autonomy.

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