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Gunmen Kill Sri Lanka Mayor

May 17, 1998

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Gunmen on Sunday shot dead the mayor of the northern city of Jaffna, the government stronghold in a region virtually cut off from the rest of Sri Lanka by separatist fighters.

Sarojini Yogeswaran’s death was reported by an official of her party, the Tamil United Liberation Front.

Yogeswaran was shot at her house Sunday morning by unidentified gunmen who later escaped, party secretary Ananda Sagari said in Colombo, 185 miles south of Jaffna.

``About nine or ten shots had been fired by them,″ Sagari said. ``From what we know, there were two gunmen.″

Another member of the Jaffna municipal council identified only as Paramasivam was wounded in the attack, Sagari said. Earlier, party officials had said he, too, had been killed.

Mrs. Yogeswaran was elected the mayor of the Jaffna municipal council in January in elections opposed by the main rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The elections, the first in Jaffna since 1983, established local councils that will be given more autonomy under a plan the government hopes will end a 15-year-old ethnic war that has claimed the lives of more than 52,000 people.

Mrs. Yogeswaran’s husband, Vettivelu, a former member of Sri Lanka’s Parliament, was killed by suspected rebels in 1989 in Colombo.

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