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Guerrilla organization seeking to establish an independent Tamil state in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Formed in 1972, it is considered one of the world's most sophisticated and tightly organized insurgent groups. By 1985 it controlled the port of Jaffna and most of the Jaffna Peninsula in northern Sri Lanka. After losing control of Jaffna in 1987, it carried out several attacks, including the assassinations of the Sri Lankan president and the former Indian prime minister and a suicide bombing that killed 100 people in the capital, Colombo. Negotiations between the Tigers and the government broke down in the mid-1990s, and fighting subsequently intensified until February 2002, when a permanent cease-fire agreement was signed. Sporadic violence continued, however, and in 2006 the European Union added the Tigers to its list of banned terrorist organizations. Soon after, heavy fighting erupted between the rebels and government forces. In January 2008 the government formally abandoned the 2002 cease-fire and began a sustained offensive against the Tigers. By May 2009 government forces had captured the last rebel stronghold and claimed victory over the Tigers.
Variants of TAMIL TIGERS
Tamil Tigers or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Tamil Tigers, visit Britannica.com.
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