The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers, are a terrorist organization in Sri Lanka. The LTTE is infamous for introducing the suicide bomb jacket, as well as the use of women in suicide attacks. They are blamed for a dozen high profile assassinations, over two hundred suicide attacks, and its war against the government has cost more than seventy thousand lives. The LTTE, which may have between 7,000 to 15,000 armed fighters, is notorious for its suicide bombings.
Since the late 1980s, the group has conducted approximately two hundred suicide attacks. LTTE fighters wear cyanide capsules around their necks so they can commit suicide if they are captured (Bhattacharji, 2009). Many of the LTTE’s victims have been public officials. Over the past twenty years, the LTTE has been accused of assassinating almost a dozen high-level figures, including two heads of state.
Assassinations and attacks on officials allegedly committed by the LTTE include: The May 1991 assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at a campaign rally in India the May 1993 assassination of Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa the July 1999 assassination of a Sri Lankan member of parliament, Neelan Thiruchelvam, (an ethnic Tamil involved in a government-sponsored peace initiative) a pair of December 1999 suicide bombings in Colombo that wounded Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga the June 2000 assassination of Sri Lankan Industry Minister C. V. Goonaratne the August 2005 assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar the January 2008 assassination of a member of parliament from the opposition United National Party (UNP), T. Maheswaran the January 2008 assassination of Sri Lankan Nation-Building Minister D. M. Dassanayake the February 2008 assassination of two cadres of the political party and paramilitary group Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) the April 2008 assassination of Sri Lankan Highway Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle (Bhattacharji, 2009).