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SL Air Force shoots down LTTE aircraft

Sri Lanka Air Force on Tuesday shot down an LTTE aircraft in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu, an official said.

world Updated: Sep 09, 2008 09:55 IST

Sri Lanka Air Force on Tuesday shot down an LTTE aircraft in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu, an official said.

"The aircraft has been shot down in the Mullaitivu skies while running away following a failed mission," Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said.

He said Air Defence radars picked up two LTTE light aircrafts while they were approaching the Vavuniya area around 4 am this morning.

The Sri Lankan Air Force fighter jets took off from Katunayaka airbase and intercepted the LTTE aircrafts and destroyed one of them, he said.

The aim of LTTE in the air mission was to target the Vavuniya airbase, he said.

"However, they have failed to deliver their bombs on the target," Nanayakkara said.

Military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the LTTE had launched a coordinated artillery attack at the Forward Defence of Vavuniya to support the attempted aerial mission.

"Troops have retaliated with heavy artillery and brought the situation under control," he said.

LTTE is believed to have suffered heavy losses when Air Force carried out attacks at their reserves in Kilinochchi during last couple of days, the defence ministry said.

"In a series of raids, Air Force targeted a number of marshalling points of LTTE causing a severe damage to the enemy's fighting capability," it said.