The Black Tigers — Sri Lanka’s deadly suicide squads

Apr.26 (AFP) – “Black Tiger” suicide squads, secular Hindus driven by loyalty to the Tamil cause rather than religion, have been sowing terror in Sri Lanka for over two decades. The audacious bombing Tuesday inside Sri Lanka’s main military base, in which a female member of the Tamil Tigers feigning pregnancy blew herself up, was just the latest attack blamed on the ruthless rebel group.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have so far commemorated over 240 suicide bombers since they launched their first kamikaze mission in July 1987 when a cadre rammed a truck into an army camp, killing 40 soldiers.

Although not credited with starting the lethal form of guerrilla or terrorist attack, the Black Tiger unit has staged some of the world’s most spectacular suicide bombings and has been described as the most effective unit of its type anywhere in the world.

But unlike the Al-Qaeda network and many other Islamic groups in the Middle East, they are not driven by the idea of holy war.

It is the veneration of 51-year-old Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and the dream of a separate homeland for ethnic Tamils that drives cadres to give their lives.

Prabhakara