Sri Lankan Forces Kill Female Tamil Tiger Commander, Army Says
Aug 1, 2008.
(Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan forces killed a female regional leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels and three of her bodyguards during clashes in the north, the army said, as South Asian leaders prepare to meet in the capital, Colombo.
Kumaveri Thangeamma, head of the women's wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the northern region of Mullaithivu, was killed during two hours of fighting yesterday, the Media Center for National Security said on its Web site.
The LTTE, which is designated a terrorist organization by India, the U.S. and the European Union, didn't immediately comment on the clashes on its Web site.
The Tamil Tigers declared a 10-day cease-fire to cover the annual meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, known as Saarc, which culminates in a two-day summit starting tomorrow. The group includes India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives.
Sri Lanka's military has targeted Tamil Tiger leaders since destroying the group's bases in the east last year in the worst defeat for the rebels in their fight for a separate homeland. It has killed the LTTE's political chief, its military intelligence leader and the head of the naval unit, known as the Sea Tigers.
The rebels say the air force bombs civilian areas and that land and air attacks in the north amount to genocide.
The group was the first to use female suicide bombers and develop explosive belts and vests, the U.S. Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism said in a 2006 report.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government pledged to defeat the LTTE in the northern Wanni region this year and end the 25- year civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.
Published: Fri Aug 1 15:56:45 EDT 2008