Sri Lanka Tigers pay homage to 356 suicide bombers

July 6, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers on Sunday commemorated 356 men and women who have staged suicide attacks since the tactic was first used by the rebels 21 years ago. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they held ceremonies in guerrilla-held Wanni region on Saturday to mark the 21st anniversary of the first suicide truck bombing by a cadre known as Captain Miller.

The elusive Tiger supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, 53, led the remembrance ceremonies at an undisclosed location with the participation of his elite “Black Tiger” suicide cadres, the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com web site reported.

“Three hundred and fifty six Black Tigers have laid down their lives, 254 of them in sea operations, during the last 21 years since,” Tamilnet said.

Last year, the Tigers commemorated 322 suicide bombers who perished in attacks.

Their figures showed that 34 suicide bombers had carried out attacks in the past year. An attack on a key air base in October was the worst, with 21 suicide bombers destroying a fleet of aircraft.

One rebel later returned to the north with video footage of the attack, while the others were shot dead or blew themselves u