COLOMBO – The new head of the Tamil Tigers, the separatist group defeated by the Sri Lankan military after 25 years of war, is being held in the capital Colombo, the military said on Friday, declining to say where he was arrested.

The military late on Thursday said Selvarajah Pathmanathan, for decades the head of arms procurement and smuggling for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), had been arrested in Thailand.

But Thailand's prime minister denied that on Friday, saying he had information Pathmanathan had been arrested, but not in Thailand.

He is in custody in Colombo and is being questioned, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. We do not know where he was arrested.

On Thursday night, Nanayakkara had said that Pathmanathan had been arrested in Thailand, and that he had no more information.

He declined to say whether military intelligence or the Terrorism Investigation Division was handling the interrogation.

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Bryson Hull; Editing by Nick Macfie)