The Sri Lankan armed forces on Wednesday claimed to have captured an airstrip used by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in north Lanka. This was the third LTTE airstrip captured by the military, used as a runaway or as an area to park the rebels’ aircraft.
The military said that the airstrip was located 15 km east of Mankulam, a strategic town which the Sri Lankan army (SLA) claimed to have wrested from the rebels earlier this week.
The Tamil Tigers is the only terrorist organisation to boast of an air wing. Since early 2007, they have carried out at least eight daring attacks on army and civic installations, killing many and damaging facilities. In the last attack, carried out in October, the LTTE had dropped bombs on a power station in the heart of Colombo and on an army facility in the northern district of Mannar.
“This was the third rebel airstrip captured by the troops in their latest operations (in the country’s north),” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told reporters.
In September, the SLA had captured another airstrip in the north of Vannivilankulam, near the strategic A-9 road, connecting Jaffna in the north to the rest of the country. The airstrip was 500 metres long, the military had said.
In another development, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday completed its largest delivery of food to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the north. “The convoy delivered 870 tons of food, enough to feed over 230,000 people for a week, to Puthukkudiyiruppu,” the WFP said.