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Apr 24, 2009 at 01:13am IST

Prabhakaran trapped but still a fearsome foe

New Delhi: As the Sri Lankan army moves deep inside the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) bastions, the question that every one is asking is 'where is LTTE commander-in-chief Velupillai Prabhakaran'?

The LTTE is fighting what seems to be the final battle and just like 1945 when Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker and his empire collapsed around him, Prabhakaran has been trapped in a crumbling enclave with the Sri Lankan army closing in.

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Those who have followed the career of the world most diabolical terrorist mastermind say he too will commit suicide, biting into the cyanide capsule which every LTTE fighter is sworn to.

Or has he already escaped, infiltrating through the chaos of war zone Mullaitivu?

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Having spent over three decades fighting, Prabhakaran knows the jungles of northern and eastern Sri Lanka very well.

The rebels have secretly stockpiled arms, ammunition and food at a key location in the hope of Prabhakaran living and fighting another day.

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But Sri Lankan army chief General Sarath Fonseka says Prabhakaran is near the coast and Army's deep penetration units are racing against time and thick jungle to get a precise fix on him.

Off the coast, naval units have trained their radars and guns onto land cutting off the sea as an escape route. It is the closest the Sri Lankan armed forces have ever come to capturing the LTTE leader.

But the risk is high. Prabhakaran is reportedly guarded by 400 crack LTTE fighters, who are the organisations fanatical core.

It will be a fight to the finish with the leader and his men going down with all guns blazing.

(With inputs from Surya Gangadharan)