Attackers raided a Sinhalese village of rice farmers in eastern Sri Lanka, shooting or hacking to death at least 32 people - nine of them children, officials said Tuesday.

Police and military officials blamed the attack on a separatist Tamil guerrilla group, but a spokesman for the group denied responsibility.A military official in Colombo said the bodies of 19 men, four women, and nine children were found. He said most of the victims were hacked to death but some of the men were shot. He said two village men were also missing.

The police blamed the attack on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the most powerful of the Tamil separatist groups.