EU court rejects case against Tamil Tigers 'terror' label

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's top court has rejected an argument by people accused of collecting funds for Tamil Tiger rebels that activities by the group shouldn't be classified as "terrorist acts."

Sri Lanka's civil war ended in 2009 when government forces defeated the rebels, who fought to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils.

In the case reviewed Tuesday by the European Court of Justice, four people in the Netherlands had their assets frozen on the basis that the Tamil Tigers were involved in terrorism. They argued the group's activities, as an armed force in a civil war, were governed by international humanitarian law and not international anti-terrorism rules.

The court found international law "does not prevent actions by armed forces during periods of armed conflict from constituting 'terrorist acts.'"