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May 28, 2009 at 10:30am IST

Whereabouts of LTTE leader Amman unclear

Colombo: After the death of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief V Prabhakaran and his son Charles Antony attention has shifted to the rebel group's intelligence chief Pottu Amman.

Some reports claim Prabhakaran's dreaded intelligence chief maybe in the custody of the Sri Lankan army.

"Officially the army didn't say anything about it. But on the defence website they claim he has also been killed but after that the talk has died down," said Sri Lankan security expert Sidhartan.

The speculation has gained ground in the absence of any body and the army's silence on the issue.

The army's only response so far is to say it is trying to identify nearly 250 bodies recovered from the battle zone.

"It is being rumoured around in Colombo that he has not really escaped; either he has been killed or surrendered to the army," added Sidhartan.

The other speculation chiefly among pro-LTTE circles in Colombo is that escaped.

But how Pottu Amman got away when the army had bottled up the entire LTTE leadership in an area no bigger than a football field? There are speculations that he may have left earlier.

Amman headed the covert operations wing of the LTTE and he is believed to have masterminded many operations including the killing of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, assassination of Sri Lanka's president Premadasa in 1993, bombing of the Bank of Colombo in January 1996 in which 90 people were killed followed by another attack on a commuter train near Colombo in July 1996 killing 70.