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Senior LTTE leader badly injured in Mullaitivu

world Updated: Jan 29, 2009 11:27 IST
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A senior leader of the Tamil Tigers has been seriously injured in an attack by advancing government troops, a pro-rebel website said on Thursday.

"A senior leader and special member of the LTTE KV Balakumaran was seriously injured during an attack by the Sri Lankan army at Udaiyarkattu area in Mullaitivu on Monday and is admitted to the intensive care unit," pro-LTTE website report said.

The military is yet to comment on the report.

According to Tamil politicians, Balakumaran was formerly the leader of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) and joined the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in early 90s with a few hundred cadres.

A break-away group of the EROS led by Shankar Rajee is openly critical of its former leader Balakumaran and the LTTE.

Political sources said Balakumaran joined the Tamil militancy in the early 1980s after he was arrested by the police for allegedly aiding a Tamil militant group to carry out a major robbery at a bank he was working in.

Balakumaran is the second seniormost leader of the LTTE to be wounded after the beginning of the current phase of fierce clashes between the government troops and the LTTE since August 2006.

In November 2007, LTTE's former political wing leader SP Thamilselvan was killed in an air raid by the Sri Lankan air force jets in Kilinochchi, which was captured by the troops in January this year after months of fierce fighting.

Thamilselvan, who had led several attacks against the security forces, was posthumously conferred rank of 'Brigadier' by the rebel leadership.

Carrying out a fight-to-finish campaign against the LTTE, the Sri Lankan army said last week that the 95 percent of the war against the LTTE is over and the rebels are now confined to a 300 square km area in the north-eastern Mullaitivu district where they were holding thousands of civilians as human shields.