Colombo, Nov 2 (UNI) LTTE's political Wing head S P Thamilselvan was killed along with five other Tamil rebels in a raid by the Sri Lankan Air Force this morning.
''With deep sorrow we announce to the people of Tamil Eelam, the Tamil people living all over the world and the international community that at 0600 hrs today, Head of our organisation's Political Division, Brig S P Tamilselvan was killed by the Sri Lankan Air Force aerial bombing,'' the LTTE Peace Secretariat said in a statement.
With him Lt Col Anpumani (Alex), Major Mihuthan, Capt Nethagy, Lt Adchgivel, and Lt Vahaikumaran were also killed, the statement said.
Tamilselvan is the senior most leader to be killed in the decades long bloody ethnic conflict.
Sri Lanka's Defence Ministry said that Sri Lanka Air Force supersonic fighter jets simultaneously carried out two air sorties targeting a gathering place of LTTE leaders and a Black Tiger base in Kilinochchi this morning, November 02.
It said that the air raid was launched at 0600 hrs based on the information received from intelligence sources and continuous air surveillances conducted for a long period of time, but did not give the casualty details.
One of the targets located at Thuruaiaru in Iranamadu which is believed as an LTTE leaders' hideout and the other, a black tiger base located at North-East of Iranamadu, were completely destroyed due to the air raid, pilots confirmed, the Defence Ministry said in the morning.
It was only last week that a group of 21 LTTE suicide cadres launched a devastating attack on a key Air Force base at Anuradhapura killing 14 security force personnel and destroying at least eight aircraft, including Russian-built MI-24 helicopters, and several Unmanned Aerial spy planes.
The Air Force, which claimed that its attack capability has not been reduced in any way due to the LTTE's Commando-style attack, has regularly been carrying out air strikes since then on the suspected rebel targets in the Wanni.