Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Malaysian police hunt Tamil Tiger chief Prabhakaran

AFP , KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysia is on alert for Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, saying he may have fled there after troops surrounded his last remaining stronghold.

Police chief Musa Hassan told the New Straits Times daily he had ordered a nationwide alert following reports that Prabhakaran, leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may have fled to Malaysia or Thailand.

“We are also using our local intelligence network to ascertain if he is already in the country,” Musa was quoted as saying in yesterday’s paper.

“My men will be monitoring all entry points into the country to ensure he does not enter the country,” he said.

A police spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the report.

On Saturday, Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka said Prabhakaran may have already escaped by sea amid the ongoing military operation.

Fonseka said his forces had surrounded the district of Mullaittivu, the last LTTE stronghold, and hoped to totally overrun the area in the coming weeks.

The Tigers are now surrounded and restricted to their jungle hideouts in the northeastern corner of Sri Lanka, from where Fonseka has threatened to drive the rebels into the sea.

The LTTE are banned across Europe, Australia and the US with an international arrest warrant against Prabhakaran for, among other incidents, the 1996 bombing of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka building, which killed 91.

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