Prabhakaran surrounded by government troops, claims Lankan armyMay 18th, 2009 - 1:57 pm ICT by ANI
Colombo, May 18 (ANI): The Sri Lankan Army on Monday claimed that Liberation of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, is alive and surrounded by government troops.
A BBC report quoted a military spokesman as saying that Prabhakaran is guarded by about 200 rebels in a small patch of jungle.
Earlier, four senior rebel leaders were killed in fighting, the army said.
They included the head of the Tigers’ political wing, Balasingham Nadesan, the head of rebels’ peace secretariat Seevaratnam Puleedevan, and a military leader known as Ramesh.
The army also says it has found the body of Prabhakaran’s son, Charles Anthony.
The latest claims cannot be verified as reporters are barred from the war zone.
Meanwhile, injured civilians continue to leave Sri Lanka’s war zone to get medical care.
The movement of civilians out of the war zone comes as the LTTE conceded defeat after sending out suicide attackers as part of a last-ditch attempt to keep the military’s final assault at bay on the square kilometre they control.
“This battle has reached its bitter end. We have decided to silence our guns,” the LTTE’s diplomatic chief, Selvarajah Pathmanathan, said in a statement posted on the pro-rebel web site www.TamilNet.com on Sunday
A day before, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa had declared victory after troops seized the entire coast for the first time since the war erupted in 1983.
Rajapaksa is due to formally make a victory announcement in parliament on Tuesday morning.
The final battle picked up speed after the last of 72,000 civilians who have fled over four days were freed, the military said.
Injured civilians were put on to trucks by soldiers and seen driving away from the makeshift tents.
The United Nations and others say the Tigers had been holding them as human shields, and warned that they were at grave risk. (ANI)
- LTTE chief Prabhakaran reportedly shot dead - May 18, 2009
- Bodies of Prabhakaran's son, six LTTE leaders found (Third Lead) - May 18, 2009
- Is LTTEs Prabhakaran dead or not? - May 19, 2009
- A candid post-mortem of the LTTE (Book Review) - Jul 16, 2012
- 3 senior LTTE leaders killed: Sri Lanka army - May 18, 2009
- Were LTTE leaders killed as they sought to surrender? - May 24, 2009
- Sri Lankan president announces end of civil war, Prabhakaran's body found (Third Lead) - May 19, 2009
- Prabhakaran alive, claims pro-LTTE website - May 19, 2009
- LTTE leader Prabhakaran, son and five other leaders dead - May 18, 2009
- Top LTTE leaders killed while trying to surrender: Report - May 24, 2009
- Sri Lanka president 'war criminal', try him, demand Tamils - Dec 14, 2009
- Prabhakaran's body found, Rajapaksa says LTTE vanquished (Roundup) - May 19, 2009
- Indian weekly raises doubt over Prabhakaran's death claims - May 22, 2009
- Will get Sri Lankan Tamils their rights: Jayalalithaa - Aug 11, 2011
- International Tamil rebel network still active: Sri Lanka - Jun 21, 2010
Tags: balasingham, bitter end, civilians, ealam, government troops, human shields, last ditch attempt, mahinda rajapaksa, makeshift tents, military leader, military spokesman, president mahinda rajapaksa, rebel leaders, rebel web, square kilometre, sri lankan army, suicide attackers, tuesday morning, velupillai prabhakaran, war zone