In an apparent setback to the LTTE, a senior LTTE leader and the head of its special task force has reportedly deserted the organization along with deputy LTTE head of the Jaffna intelligence unit, military sources said.
They said senior leader Mahengi who holds the rank of `colonel` in the LTTE had informed the LTTE leadership a few weeks ago that he wanted to get medical treatment from the Apollo Hospital in Colombo. Later it was revealed that he had fled the country deserting the LTTE, making the LTTE vulnerable as he was well informed of almost all important LTTE intelligence matters.
Jaffna`s deputy intelligence head Mudy Arasan has also reportedly deserted the organization and it is believed that he had accompanied Mahengi. Mahengi had deserted at a time when the LTTE had launched a recruitment drive to recruit youth to the LTTE`s elite special task force.
Due to the alleged desertion, posters had been pasted by civilians since early this week in several areas in Achchuveli and Urumpiddy asking the LTTE leadership why it is continuing with recruiting youth to the task force at a time its leader had deserted.
Mahengi was believed to be as close a confidant of the LTTE leader as Karuna. The LTTE leader had reportedly treated both Mahengi and Karuna in the same manner as the duo were close and trustworthy lieutenants for a long period.
Meanwhile, the LTTE leader had reportedly ordered his junior leaders to stay on high alert in the LTTE`s self-declared High Security Zone in the Wanni following the alleged desertion of twelve senior LTTE cadres with weapons last week.
Sources disclosed that twelve cadres of one of the leading infantry units of the LTTE ? the `Jinarthan Force` - had deserted along with weapons last week. The `Jinarthan Force` was said to be the main force that launched fierce attacks against the Karuna faction after the breakaway.
The LTTE leader has also reportedly instructed his commanders to limit entry and exit to the Wanni `HSZ` until further notice.