| Police officers examine the body of the inspector killed by a Tiger rebel in Colombo on Monday. (Reuters)
Colombo, June 23 (Reuters): A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel double agent walked into a Sri Lanka police station today and shot dead an intelligence officer in the latest attack since a ceasefire was signed 16 months ago, a police officer said.
Police spokesman Rienzie Perera said the dead officer was an inspector of police in charge of a local anti-terrorism unit at a police station not far from the centre of Colombo.
“It was an informant turned double agent who killed the inspector of police,” he said. “The informant used to come to the police station and was seen in the morning before the shooting,” Perera said.
The attacker escaped in a three-wheel vehicle but bit into a cyanide capsule after police cornered him. “He swallowed cyanide when he was caught while escaping and is in a critical condition,” Perera said.
The killing is likely to increase criticism of the government for its handling of an already fragile peace bid to end two decades of ethnic war.
The Opposition has accused it of making too many concessions to the rebels, and says killings such as today’s prove the Tigers are not serious about wanting a permanent peace.
Taking cyanide to avoid capture is a trademark of the LTTE, who have been accused of killing more than 30 police and military intelligence officers and informants since the truce was signed in February 2002. The LTTE has also been accused of killing Tamil politicians opposed to its policies, with two killed in the past 10 days.
The rebels suspended peace talks in April, saying the government had failed to deliver on promises to normalise life in Tamil areas ravaged by war.