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Malaysia police arrest four suspected Tamil Tigers

Malaysian police on Friday said they have arrested four more suspected Tamil Tiger separatists, including a man allegedly involved in the attempted assassination of a former Sri Lankan president.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police on Friday said they have arrested four more suspected Tamil Tiger separatists, including a man allegedly involved in the attempted assassination of a former Sri Lankan president.

The arrests come after three Sri Lankans, including two refugees, were deported in May amid a crackdown on suspected militants, prompting criticism from the United Nations refugee agency.

Federal police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the latest arrests happened in raids around the capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The men are allegedly members of the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatist group and were trying to set up a base in the Southeast Asian nation, Khalid said in a statement.

One of them is believed to have been involved in the attempted assassination of former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga in 1999, while another is a suspected bomb expert, Khalid said.

A large number of passports of various countries and fake Malaysian immigration rubber stamps were also recovered in the raids.

Khalid said half of the 14 suspected Tamil Tiger separatists arrested since 2009 had held refugee cards.

A spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia said on Friday she had "no further information" on the latest arrests.

In May, the agency said it was "deeply concerned" that three men registered with the agency were deported to Sri Lanka without it being given access to them.

New York-based Human Rights Watch also slammed the deportation, saying the men could face torture in Sri Lanka.

Besides the Sri Lankans, authorities in a recent crackdown have arrested more than a dozen Malaysians suspected of recruiting and sending militants to Syria and Iraq, as well as a Somali accused of terrorist activities.

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