Downing of LTTE planes avert extensive damage to SL Air Force
The LTTE’s kamikaze attack on the Sri Lankan capital could have nearly destroyed the country’s air force if the aircraft were not shot down by the forces before they reached their high-value targets.world Updated: Feb 22, 2009 21:59 IST
The LTTE’s kamikaze attack on the Sri Lankan capital could have nearly destroyed the country’s air force if the aircraft were not shot down by the forces before they reached their high-value targets.
“If the attacks by the rebels had really worked, then the Air Force would have suffered extensive damages,” government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters on Sunday.
In an audacious attack, two light aircraft of the LTTE on Friday night bombed Colombo hitting Sri Lanka’s main Revenue Department building near the Air Force Headquarters killing at least two persons before they were brought down by the military.
The pro-LTTE website TamilNet.com yesterday said the aircraft dived into Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Headquarters in Colombo and into the SLAF base at Katunayaka at around 0915 pm last night carrying out “successful air raids”.
One of the planes was loaded with about 210 kg of explosives.
Senior Defence officials too conceded that the damage to Colombo could have been “quite high” if the planes were not brought down on time.
They also said the Tigers air power has almost collapsed after Friday’s attacks.
First Published: Feb 22, 2009 21:57 IST