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’Prabhakaran building bunkers around LTTE areas’

As the battle in Sri Lanka’ north enters a do-or-die phase for the beleaguered LTTE, the outfit supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has ordered for bunkers to be constructed expeditiously around the 17 sq km rebel-held territory of Pudukudiyirippu, a top official said on Sunday.

world Updated: Apr 19, 2009 20:37 IST

As the battle in Sri Lanka’ north enters a do-or-die phase for the beleaguered LTTE, the outfit supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has ordered for bunkers to be constructed expeditiously around the 17 sq km rebel-held territory of Pudukudiyirippu, a top official said on Sunday.

The Tiger rebels have been confined to a small stretch of land, packed with civilians, in the country’s north east and are fighting for survival.

The LTTE leaders, including Prabhakaran, are getting bunkers constructed around their territory and could be ensuring they are completed expeditiously, an official said. “Of course these LTTE bunkers are not the traditional designer or modern types with all facilities,” the official told PTI.

In February, government troops had captured a two-storey air-conditioned bunker hidden in a coconut grove in Mullaittivu thought to be one of Prabhakaran’s main bases, besides seizing the modern communication centre of the rebels.

Though the 54-year-old rebel leader has not been spotted for nearly 18 months, the army is confident that Prabhakaran has not left the area.

Officials have said Prabhakaran is most probably inside the ‘no-fire´ zone in Pudukudiyirippu along with his son Charles Anthony, his intelligence chief Pottu Amman and other senior leaders.