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Lanka Prez support chopper fired upon

A SLAF helicopter which was providing logistical support at a function attended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa came under suspected LTTE fire in the Ampara district, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.
Hindustan Times | By Sutirtho Patranobis, Colombo
UPDATED ON JUL 02, 2008 12:01 AM IST

A Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) helicopter which was providing logistical support at a function attended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa came under suspected LTTE fire in the Ampara district on Tuesday afternoon.

The incident took place at about 2 after Rajapaksa, who had taken off from Colombo earlier in the day in a fleet of two helicopters, had disembarked at Arugambay to inaugurate a bridge connecting Poththuvil, A’rukam Kudaa and Paanama in the Eastern province.

The third helicopter being used for logistical support — which according to SLAF had flown separately from Colombo and was not carrying the President — subsequently went to a place called Uhana for refuelling. While returning after refuelling, the pilot realised that the helicopter was losing fuel. The chopper was hastily landed and the gun shot damage to fuel tank was discovered.

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