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Lankan air force attacks Tigers’ base

world Updated: Sep 09, 2008 00:51 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The Sri Lankan air force (SLAF) launched several attacks including one on a sea Tiger base in the last 24 hours destroying training camps and disrupting meetings of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres in the north, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

While casualty figures were not available, military sources said the attacks were successful.

Air Force fighter jets — SLAF has the Chinese made F7, the Israeli-made Kfir and the Russian Mig 27 fighter aircraft in its fighter arsenal — launched air strikes at an identified LTTE recruit training center located in the Mullaittivu district, where the ground forces are locked in pitched battle with the LTTE.

Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said the air sorties were carried out successfully. LTTE however, is yet to release details of losses. Earlier, on Sunday, around 4.15 am, the SLAF’s MI-24 helicopter gun ships launched air assaults at a pre-identified sea tiger camp named ‘Kadal’ located at Kavitharamunai, in Pooneryn, West of Kilinochchi.

Severe damages are expected following the raid at the sea tiger facility which was code-named ‘Kadal’ by the outfit, the military said. The facilities were being used by the LTTE for training and co-ordination of terrorist activities and as a launch pad for LTTE infiltration groups into the Jaffna peninsula, a government website said.

The military further claimed that radio observation reports confirmed “total-silence in the enemy circuits following the raid”.

Sri Lankan Air Force fighter jets continued to strike key LTTE targets, the last being an attack on a terrorist gathering position, East of Nachchikuda, Kilinochchi in the north on Sunday afternoon. The jets were providing air support to the advancing troops of 58 Division operating in the Western Wanni battlefront, Nanayakkara told a government website.

Ground battles on Saturday along the front lines separating government-controlled areas from rebel-held territory left eight rebels and three soldiers dead, military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told agencies.

Clashes in Vavuniya killed five rebels and three soldiers, while fighting in Welioya and Kilinochchi killed three rebels and wounded eight soldiers, he said.