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Tigers are ready for war: Puleedevan

Violence in recent days has killed dozens, raising fears that the truce could collapse.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 16:53 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

A senior Tamil Tiger rebel leader on Tuesday said that the spiralling violence in Sri Lanka is worrying and that they are prepared for a resumption of the civil war.

Violence in recent days has killed dozens including rebels, military members and Tamil civilians, raising fears that a 2002 ceasefire could collapse and plunge the nation back into civil war.

"It is a very worrying situation," Seevaratnam Puleedevan, a top Tamil Tiger leader told the agency by satellite phone from the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi in the north.

"A low intensity war is already going on, there are lot of civilians being killed in the military controlled areas in the whole north east," Puleedevan said.

"If the war is thrust upon us then we are ready to retaliate," he said.

The government has denied targeting civilians, saying its actions were defensive and blamed the Tigers for the surging violence, which included a suicide attack on the army chief and a huge attack by rebel suicide boats on a Naval convoy last week, in which dozens were killed.

Violence has killed more than 180 since April according to figures compiled by the agency, jeopardising Norwegian mediators' efforts to revive the peace process.

Dozens of killings have taken place under shadowy circumstances, with each side blaming the other.

Most prominent was the killing of at least eight Tamil civilians, including a 4-month-old baby, a 4-year-old boy and their parents, by unidentified gunmen in their home in northern Jaffna peninsula on Saturday.

First Published: May 16, 2006 14:30 IST