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Last updated: 24 September, 2006 - Published 14:17 GMT
 
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Muttur Muslims fear LTTE attack
 
Refugees in Muttur
The LTTE has denied threatening Muslims in Muttur to leave the area
Aid workers say that more than a thousand Muslim residents of the troubled Sri Lankan town of Mutur are fleeing their homes to a nearby island, fearing attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels.

Hundreds more are stranded at the jetty, waiting for ferries to take them to the island of Kinniya, in northeastern Sri Lanka.

The exodus began after leaflets were handed out allegedly by the Tamil Tigers threatening an assault against the area.

Tamil-Muslim relations

But the LTTE has denied any responsibility.

LTTE military spokesman Rasiah Ilantherian told BBC Sandeshaya that the leaflets were not from the Tamil Tigers.

Protesting Muslims in Muttur
100,000 Muslims were chased away from the north by the LTTE in 1990

He accused the government forces of distributing the leaflets “in a bid to justify their military campaign” in the East and to harm the relations between the Tamils and the Muslims.

When questioned by BBC Sandeshaya as how to trust the LTTE as they have also killed many Muslim civilians in the past, the spokesman said it was "only an accusation".

Ilanthireyan called for an "international inquiry" to investigate the recent violence in the predominantly Muslim areas.

International probe

"You cannot compare the current situation and the incidents in the past," he told bbcsinhala.com when asked why the LTTE did not call for an international probe when they were accused of killing Muslims.

This is the second time residents have fled Mutur in as many months.

Sri Lankan forces recaptured the area from the rebels last month. The Sri Lankan authorities have said there is no need for residents to leave, as they can provide protection.

LTTE is accused of brutally killing some Muslim police personnel in 1989.

Violence against Muslims

In 1990 nearly hundred thousand Muslims were forcefully evicted from Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya districts.

In 1990 in the village of Ollikulamn at the Arayampattu division in the Batticalo district nearly 230 Muslim families were chased out the village. Subsequently they became refugees.

 You cannot compare the current situation and the incidents in the past
 
LTTE spokesman when questioned about killings of Muslims in the past

In 1990 103 Muslims were massacred in side the mosque at Kattankudy . The same armed group among Tamil speaking people attacked another minority group who were also Tamil speaking.

The Tigers are also accused of killing nearly 60 Muslims at Katththankudi in 1985.

In 1991 at Palliyagodella 109 Muslims including women and children were hacked and shot dead allegedly by the LTTE. Around 650 families were displaced in the incident.

In 1992, 24 Muslims were hacked in Kalmunai. Since 1996 to date the LTTE is accused of relentlessly pursuing more than 30 attacks against the Muslim community.

 
 
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