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Top Sri Lankan Rebel Negotiator Dies in London


The top negotiator for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels has died in London.

A spokesman for the rebel group said Anton Balasingham died of cancer Thursday.

In a web posting, the rebel group said Balasingham was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive malignant form of bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) in November.

The rebel negotiator was associated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from its inception more than 30 years ago.

He had been a top political advisor to the reclusive Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabkaharan.

Earlier this year, Balasingham apologized for the 1991 Tamil Tiger assassination of India's former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, calling it a monumental mistake.

The Tamil Tiger's claimed responsiblity for the murder, saying they killed the Indian prime minister to protest India's involvement in Sri Lanka's civil war. India did not accept the apology.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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