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Pilots were on ‘suicide mission’: LTTE

world Updated: Feb 22, 2009 01:12 IST

Tamil Tigers on Saturday said the two aircraft they sent to carry out attacks on the Sri Lankan capital were on a “suicide mission” and not meant to return. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said two men from the “Black Air Tiger” suicide squad piloted the two light aircraft that carried out Friday’s attack and that it had not been shot down.

The rebels claimed the aircraft had been sent to pick up prize targets in Colombo and it was this intention that they crashed the plane onto two defence installations.

“The aircraft dived into Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) headquarters in Colombo and into the SLAF base at Katunayaka at around 0915 pm carrying out successful air raids,” pro-LTTE website TamilNet.Com said.

That it was a suicide attack was confirmed by Lankan authorities who said one aircraft was carrying large quantity of explosives.

TamilNet.Com published a photograph of the two suicide pilots with LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran said to be taken shortly before they embarked on the death mission.