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May 19: A pro-LTTE website, Tamilnet.com, today claimed that the Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran is still "alive and safe", a day after Sri Lankan army announced that it has killed the top rebel leader.

"I wish to inform the Global Tamil community distressed witnessing the final events of the war that our beloved leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is alive and safe," LTTE's International Relations head S Pathmanathan was quoted as saying by the website, which usually puts out the rebels' version on the battle with the Sri Lankan armed forces.

"He (Prabhakaran) will continue to lead the quest for dignity and freedom for the Tamil people," he said.

The website, however, did not give the details of Prabhakaran's location.

The army had claimed Prabhakaran and his top aides came out of their last hiding place in a small convoy of van and an ambulance and tried to drive out of the war zone, but were gunned down.

Pathmanathan said the Sri Lankan army and government deliberately came up with the story detailing the demise of the leader of the LTTE.

"We categorically reject this and wish to inform the Tamil community to be vigilant and to exercise maximum restraint whilst grieving for the loss of Tamil civilian lives in the barbaric conduct of the final chapters of this battle," he said.

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