LTTE only an irritant: Indian air chief

Air Chief Marshal Fali Major said that LTTE has never been a threat to India.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2007 19:00 IST

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are not a threat to India even though they posses an air wing but only an irritant, the new Indian Air Force (IAF) chief said on Monday.

At his first media meet after taking charge March 31, journalists asked Air Chief Marshal Fali Major if he considered the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) a threat to India following the March 26 air attack on Sri Lanka's main air force base near Colombo.

"It is not a threat. The LTTE has never been a threat to us. They are more an irritant rather than a threat," Major said here.

Two light aircraft of LTTE flew all the way from the rebel-held north to Colombo, bombed the air base causing unspecified damage and flew back, covering a distance of about 600 km - that too at night.

The development is worrying security experts in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. It was the first instance of any insurgent group in the world using aircraft.

First Published: Apr 09, 2007 18:57 IST