Prabhakaran's body found, says Sri Lankan army

Prabhakaran's body found, says Sri Lankan army

 Sri Lankan man sits in front of a television set as it shows the dead body of Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in Colombo on Tuesday.

He said Prabhakaran was in uniform and there were bullet wounds on his head.
Military officials, giving details of the encounter in which the LTTE chief was killed yesterday, said that Prabhakaran and his two top commanders, Pottu Amman and sea Tiger chief Soosai, drove out of their hideout in an armoured vehicle escorted by his armed cadres in an ambulance.

They tried to drive through the security cordon of army, triggering a 2-hour battle which ended when troops targeted the vehicle with a rocket and later took out the bodies.

Prabhakaran's body, the officials said yesterday, bore burn marks apparently due to the direct impact of the rocket on the vehicle which was carrying the LTTE chief.
However, the pro-rebel Tamilnet website claimed that Prabhakaran was still "alive and safe".

"I wish to inform the global Tamil community distressed witnessing the final events of the war that our beloved leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is alive and safe," LTTE's International Relations head S Pathmanathan was quoted as saying by the website,which usually puts out the rebels' version on the battle with the Sri Lankan armed forces.

The website, however, did not give the details of Prabhakaran's location.

The army had claimed Prabhakaran and his top aides came out of their last hiding place in a small convoy of van and an ambulance and tried to drive out of the war zone, but were gunned down.

Pathmanathan said the Sri Lankan army and government deliberately came up with the story detailing the demise of the leader of the LTTE.

"We categorically reject this and wish to inform the Tamil community to be vigilant and to exercise maximum restraint whilst grieving for the loss of Tamil civilian lives in the barbaric conduct of the final chapters of this battle," he said.

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