70 LTTE rebels killed

May 17th, 2009 - 3:07 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

LTTE Emblem 70 LTTE rebels killed as rumors circulate of Tamil Tiger leadership suicide pact

The Sri Lankan army says it has killed up to 70 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or Tamil Tigers as they are more commonly termed, trying to flee across a shallow lagoon using six boats.

A military spokesman said remnants of the LTTE, believed to be just a few hundred fighters, are trapped in a shrinking war zone measuring just one square kilometer cut off from all escape on a sandy coastal spit.

At the same time as the Sri Lankan military prepare a final assault against the recalcitrant rebels, rumours are rife in the capital, Colombo, that the 54-year-old LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, along with more than 300 of his deputies and senior cadres, have committed suicide in the Mullivaaikkaal area of Karaithuraipatru AGA division of Mullaitheevu district.

The Sri Lankan government reports that 25,000 civilians have fled the conflict zone in the past 72 hours, but an unknown number remain trapped.

Aid agencies in Colombo, including the United Nations, are warning there could be as many as 50,000 people caught in what they describe as “an unimaginable hell” as the fighting closes in around them.

The Government says it will not negotiate with the rebels until they surrender.

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