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LTTE leader's son hurt: Lanka
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 02 - 04 - 2009

The son and heir apparent to Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has been wounded in a gunbattle with soldiers trying to crush the separatist rebels, the military said on Wednesday.
The battle to end the quarter-century war is centered around 25 square km (10 sq miles) of the Indian ocean island's northeastern coast, where the army has encircled the Tigers and tens of thousands of civilians trapped there.
“Intelligence sources confirmed that LTTE leader Prabhakaran's elder son, Charles Anthony, was injured in fighting,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.
He had no details of the extent of the injuries or his condition.
There was no independent confirmation available and the Tigers could not be reached for comment. Nanayakkara also said troops killed at least 19 guerrillas on Tuesday.
The Tigers on Tuesday accused the international community and the United Nations of maintaining a double standard by saying the rebels should comply with humanitarian law, while ignoring what it says are attacks on civilians by the Sri Lankan military.
The United Nations, rights groups and other nations have said the Tigers are holding people prisoner as human shields, and shooting those who try to leave. They also have said the government has shelled areas packed with civilians.
Both sides deny the allegations.
The United Nations, United States and Britain have all urged both sides to observe a “humanitarian pause” to let people trapped in the war zone escape.
The Tigers, who are on US, EU, Indian and Canadian terrorism lists, on Tueaday accused the international community of not doing enough to push a ceasefire.
Flood of people leave
war zone – Sri Lanka
More than 23,000 civilians escaped last month from a war zone in Sri Lanka's north, where the military is close to crushing the Tamil rebels and ending a 25-year civil war, the government said Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of civilians have been trapped by the fighting as the military has rolled up a series of battlefield victories and pushed the rebels into a small sliver of beach and land – measuring just 21 sq. km – on the northeast coast.
The 23,606 who fled in March was down from the nearly 33,000 who escaped in February, but the fighting last month was confined to a smaller area and it was not as easy to flee. The rebels, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, have denied accusations that they are holding the people as human shields and have fired on them to stop them from fleeing.
Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara told a news conference that the fighting in some cases was just 400 yards (meters) from the edge of a government-declared “no-fire” zone, which takes up most of the war zone.
“Troops are operating close to the safe zone,” he told a news conference. Nanayakkara said more than 62,000 people have now fled the fighting.

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