Top Tamil politician killed

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Snipers, believed to be Tamil Tiger rebels, killed a top Tamil politician in the northern Tamil city of Jaffna, in Sri Lanka, today, military officials said.

Subathran, a leader of the Jaffna unit of the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front, was killed while doing his morning exercises on the rooftop of his home, said a military official.

His party is opposed to the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam, which controls much of the Jaffna Peninsula.

Subathran, 44, who used one name, is the most senior politician to be killed since a truce in February 2002 between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government halted the island's 19-year civil war.

The Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front is one of a dozen former rebel groups that gave up violence and joined Sri Lanka's political mainstream in 1987.