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Prabhakaran's son hurt in clash with SL army

April 01, 2009 15:52 IST

LTTE chief V Prabhakaran's son Charles Anthony has been injured in fierce clashes with the Sri Lankan security forces in the island's embattled north, officials said on Wednesday.

Twenty four-year-old Charles, the eldest of the two sons and a daughter of the elusive LTTE chief, was injured in the fighting in the Tiger bastion of Pudhukkudiyiruppu, Defence Ministry officials said.

Charles, who was believed to have been commanding a contingent of rebel forces, was wounded on March 8, official sources said, as the Sri Lankan army pushed deeper into the rebel-held territory to capture their remaining pockets.

One of the arrested cadres of the LTTE belonging to the rebels' suicide squad also said that Charles was fighting the security forces along side prominent Tiger leaders like Banu and Lakshman.

Meanwhile, The Bottom Line newspaper reported that Charles, 'seriously wounded in artillery fire', was taken by the LTTE cadres to the No Fire Zone (NFZ). Presently, Prabhakaran's doctor is said to be treating Charles.

'An LTTE leader, S Ramachandran (code name within the LTTE and Tamil diaspora loyal to the LTTE), living in Toronto, Canada, received this information via e-mail,' the report said.

'Ramachandran is believed to be collecting funds from the Tamil diaspora in Canada. He is a relative of Prabhakaran's wife, Madhivadani. The e-mail further stated that Prabhakaran is very concerned about his son's injuries,' the paper said.

Charles, named after one of Prabhakaran's close aides who was killed in confrontations with the Sri Lankan army a few years ago, returned from Ireland in 2006.

Prabhakaran has two other children -- daughter Dhuwraha, who is in her early 20s, and teenage son Balachandran, whose whereabouts are not known.

Charles is believed to have a degree in aeronautical engineering and is heading the air wing and computer unit of LTTE, according to reports.

He is also believed to have played a key role in building the LTTE air wing, which surprised the Sri Lankan military with a night raid on Colombo two years ago.

However, the rebel air wing is said to be crumbling now after the failed mission in Colombo when two of the 'Sky Tiger' planes were brought down by the Sri Lankan anti-aircraft guns last month.

A Czech-made Zlin Z 143 light aircraft may still be left with the LTTE, contrary to reports that it had no more aircraft after losing two of them last month, the media in Colombo said.

The LTTE Air Force came to prominence when it struck a Sri Lankan military air base inside Colombo's international airport in March 2007.

T V Sriram in Colombo
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