LTTE aircraft attack Lankan naval base
At least four Sri Lankan navy sailors were wounded when Tamil Tiger rebels bombed a naval base in the country's eastern port city of Trincomalee.world Updated: Aug 27, 2008 08:47 IST
At least four Sri Lankan navy sailors were wounded on Tuesday night when Tamil Tiger rebels bombed a naval base in the country's eastern port city of Trincomalee, defence sources said.
"LTTE terrorist have carried out an abortive air raid attempt at the Trincomalee naval base a short while ago," the defence ministry said in a report at around 10.00 pm on Tuesday.
"The terrorist have dropped two improvised bombs into the navy camp. Only one out of the two bombs exploded and four sailors injured in the attack," the ministry said in an updated report.
People in the area have heard at least two huge blasts followed by firing by security personnel from various points in the area towards the air.
Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told IANS that an LTTE light-aircraft has dropped two bombs between 9 and 9.15 pm on Tuesday on the Trincomalee dockyard area.
Nanayakkara said the anti-aircraft system in and around the area was immediately activated resulting in the LTTE aircraft to abort its mission and fly back to its hideout in the rebel-held Wanni region.
"Interceptor aircraft of the Air Force have pursued the LTTE aircraft and details are not immediately known," he said.
This is the first air attack by the LTTE air wing in 10 months, amid fierce fighting in the northern Wanni region between the advancing government troops and the rebels.
The military, which has captured the northwestern Mannar district last month, has now declared that the advancing troops were operating just 12 km away from the rebel-heartland of Kilinochchi.
This is the fifth LTTE air attack and all the five times they have managed to escape after the attacks.
There was no immediate response from the LTTE on the latest attack.
The last LTTE air attack was in October last year when at least two LTTE aircraft carried out attacks on a key air force base in the north-central Anuradhapura district to assist a ground ambush of a team of 21 LTTE suicide cadres on the air base.