December 31, 1987: LTTE slaughter in Sri Lanka

On this day in December 1987 LTTE terrorists slaughtered 30 Muslim civilians in a village in the Batticloa region.

BATTICLOA, SRI LANKA – The LTTE may have sought independence from majority Sinhalese over their 30-year struggle but they killed many others as well.

There have been few terrorist groups as longlasting or as successful as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, often shortened to the Tamil Tigers). This terrorist organisation, which fought to establish an independent homeland for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority for more than 30 years, was incredibly innovative. It more or less invented the tactic of female suicide bombers and even developed one-man submarines that were used to ram enemy boats (in essence ‘human torpedoes’).

Given that Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese had treated the minority Tamils poorly for decades – the reason why the LTTE arose in the first place – it would stand to reason that the terrorist group would target those in the way of their goals, no?

As I have noted on many occasions, terrorism is never that simple.

On this day in 2000

LTTE terrorists armed with sharp weapons and small arms raided Kathankadu, a predominantly Muslim village in Batticaloa, and butchered 30 civilians, including women and children. Severely mutilated bodies of the innocent civilians displayed the extent of brutality that they had to suffer at the hands of their killers.

So, no, the LTTE, like many other terrorist groups, did not discriminate in their targeting. Innocent people of a wide variety of backgrounds were killed and injured. Terrorists don’t seem to care as a rule.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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