Prabhakaran, top aides killed in Sri Lanka’s war zone (Second Lead)

May 18th, 2009 - 3:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, May 18 (IANS) Velupillai Prabhakaran, the elusive leader of Sri Lanka’s feared Tamil Tigers, was killed Monday while trying to escape the battlezone in the island’s north along with two of his top aides, the military announced.
Prabhakaran, 54, was in a convoy of a van and an ambulance with Pottu Amman, head of the intelligence wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and Sea Tigers chief Soosai when the military opened fire in an isolated strip of Mullaitivu district.

The deaths sparked frenzied celebrations in the capital Colombo and large parts of the Sinhalese populated central and southern provinces as people poured out of their homes, waved national flags and distributed sweets.

Prabhakaran’s death comes shortly after soldiers stumbled upon the bodies of several key LTTE leaders, including his son Charles Anthony, who headed the group’s IT wing and was being groomed to take over his father’s mantle.

Prabhakaran founded the LTTE in 1976 and built it into an awesome military machine that at one point controlled a third of Sri Lanka’s land territory and two-thirds of its coastline.

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