Sri Lanka army kills Tiger intelligence leader
Colombo (dpa) - At least 30 rebels including their military intelligence leader were killed in confrontations with government security forces in north-western Sri Lanka, a military spokesman said Sunday.
The guerrilla leader - identified as Shanmugadasan Ravishankar, alias "Colonel" Charles - was killed in an ambush in Mannar, 320 kilometres north of the capital Saturday, the spokesman said.
Earlier, the military said he had been killed in a confrontation, but later reports revealed that his van was ambushed and three more senior members were also killed in the attack, carried out by a deep penetration unit of the army.
A pro-rebel website said a claymore mine attack had been triggered by the army, killing the leader who was the second in command of the entire intelligence wing leader of the rebels, known as Pottu Ammann.
"Colonel" Charles, who joined the rebels as a full-time member in December 1985, was taken into its Intelligence Wing following his military performance in the northern Jaffna district and later in the rebel stronghold in Vanni, when the rebels were fighting Indian peacekeeping forces who arrived in 1987, the pro-rebel Tamilnet website said.
The rebel leader served in a key position in rebel Intelligence Wing between 1991 and 2004, also as the head of the Intelligence unit in the eastern Batticaloa-Ampara districts between 1997 and 2000 and was responsible for leading some of the key military operations, the website said.
He was appointed as the head of newly-established Military Intelligence wing in 2004 by the rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, Tamilnet said.
At least 30 rebels were killed in four different incidents in the Mannar district as well as the northern Vavuniya district, where fighting has escalated during the past week with heavy shelling between the rebels and security forces being reported.
The military during a search operation also recovered more than 200 anti-personnel mines in the Mannar area.
07:18 Jan 07, 2008