Italy: Tamil Tiger 'sympathisers' arrested in several cities

Naples, 18 June (AKI) - Twenty-eight suspected sympathisers of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebel group were arrested in Italy on Wednesday.

Police said all of the alleged sympathisers were from Sri Lanka. They were detained in nine Italian cities including the southern cities of Naples and Rome as well as Milan and Genoa, in the north of the country.

The Tamil Tigers or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebel movement has been fighting for an independent state for the Tamil minority in the north and east of Sri Lanka for more than two decades.

The group is branded a terrorist group by the US and several other countries.

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka there are media reports that Tamil rebels have rejected a request to lay down their weapons and resist from any violence ahead of peace talks.

The government said last week it would reconsider peace negotiations if the rebels agreed to decommission their weapons and issued a timetable for negotiations.

The LTTE is believed to be responsible for some 200 suicide bombings, in a civil war that has claimed more than 60,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans.

At least 12 people were killed and 24 injured, many of them children, in a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bombing in northern Sri Lanka this week.


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