Black Tigers: the deadliest suicide bombers

Oct 17, 2006 (AFP) – The Tamil Tigers’ latest suicide bomb attack, the deadliest in the island’s history, has illustrated that the rebel army still ranks as a master of the tactic. The elite band of “Black Tigers” is regarded by guerrilla supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran as a “protective armour” and one of the most effective weapons in his battle for an independent homeland for ethnic Tamils.

On Monday, suspected Black Tigers drove a truck packed with explosives into an open area where 24 busses were parked in a circle with 350 sailors waiting for transport.

At least 103 of them were killed and 150 wounded.

Tiger suicide squads are driven by loyalty, and not religion, unlike their Islamic counterparts in the Al-Qaeda network.

Tigers are secular Hindus driven by single-minded allegiance to elusive Prabhakaran.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have so far commemorated over 261 suicide bombers, including 69 women, since they launched their first suicide mission in July 1987 when a cadre named Captain Miller rammed a truck into an army camp, killing 40 soldiers.

Monday’s truck bombing, similar to Miller’s mission, also surpassed the fatalities in the Janua