Sri Lankan soldiers accused of pre-election attack

JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (AP) — An election monitor says Sri Lankan soldiers armed with clubs attacked supporters of an ethnic Tamil candidate in this weekend’s provincial elections in the country’s former war zone, wounding eight people.

Keerthi Tennakoon of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections says the army soldiers entered Ananthi Sasitharan’s house late Thursday and attacked her supporters. The candidate escaped unharmed.

Military spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya denied that soldiers took part in an attack.

Sasitharan, the wife of a former Tamil Tiger rebel leader, recently angered the government by meeting with the visiting United Nations human rights chief to complain that she has not heard from her husband since he surrendered to the army in the final stage of the country’s civil war in 2009.

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