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Lankan army finds bullet-proof car in Prabhakaran's area

January 28, 2009 16:01 IST

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On the hunt for the elusive Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo Prabhakaran, Sri Lankan security forces have stumbled upon a damaged bullet-proof car that could have been used by either the LTTE [Images] chief or other senior leaders.

The covered pick-up wagon, fitted with double steel sheets to escape bullet hits, was found in the thick jungles near Mullaittivu, as Lankan forces scour the area for the LTTE leaders, a senior defence official told PTI.

It is a crude improvised version of a bullet-proof vehicle, unlike the new technologically advanced bullet-proof cars available off the shelf, he said.

Nandana Udawattee, the brigadier commanding the specialised 59 Division of the Lankan army, added that in previous encounters too, forces had come across such vehicles in battles.

The military feels that as the battle intensifies, some of the Tiger leaders including Prabhakaran are using such vehicles to coordinate operations and also to escape attack or injury.

In November 2008, Lankan troops had fired on a similar passing vehicle killing the LTTE cadre at the wheel. The Lankan army thinks that these crude bullet-proof vehicles were brought ashore in freight ships.

The defence official said that the drawback with these vehicles is that they become heavier and slower in movement due to heavy steel plates.

During the battles to capture the main town of Mullaittivu, the army also recovered an improvised mortar launcher, the official said.

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