The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil: தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள், ISO 15919: tamiḻ īḻa viṭutalaip pulikaḷ; commonly known as the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers) was a separatist organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka. Founded in May 1976, it waged a violent secessionist campaign that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. This campaign evolved into the Sri Lankan Civil War, which was one of the longest running armed conflicts in Asia until the LTTE was defeated by the Sri Lankan Military in May 2009. The Tigers, at the height of their power possessed a well-developed militia and carried out many high profile attacks including the assassinations of several high-ranking Sri Lankan and Indian politicians like Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993, and former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The Tigers, although not the first group to use suicide bombings as a weapon, used such attacks as a tactic of asymmetrical warfare. and used light aircraft in some of their attacks. They are currently proscribed as a terrorist organization by 32 countries (see list of countries), but have extensive support amongst the Tamil diaspora in Europe and North America, and amongst some Tamils in India. Since its inception, and until his death, the LTTE was headed by its founder, Velupillai Prabhakaran.