The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) commonly known as the Tamil Tigers.
It is a militant Tamil nationalist organisation that has waged a violent secessionist campaign against the Sri Lankan government since the 1970s in order to create a separate, socialist, Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka.
The LTTE is currently proscribed as a terrorist organisation by 31 countries. It is headed by its founder, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The LTTE was founded in 1972 by Velupillai Prabhakaran and attracted many supporters amongst disenchanted Tamil youth, who were dissatisfied with policies followed by successive governments towards solving various concerns of the nation's Tamil community.
The LTTE is organised into two main divisions, namely, a military wing and political wing. A central governing body oversees both of those divisions, which is headed by the LTTE supreme leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
In 1987 the LTTE established the Black Tigers, a unit of the LTTE responsible for conducting suicide attacks against political, economic and military targets.
It launched its first suicide attack against a Sri Lanka Army camp, killing 40
Even though the LTTE was formed as a military group, it has later transformed itself to a de facto Government.
The LTTE controls sections in the north of the island, especially the regions lying around the cities of Killinochchi and Mulathivu.