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Sri Lanka war planes bomb suspected Tiger camp

The LTTE-held areas were bombed as part of a stepped-up offensive against the guerrillas.
None | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2007 07:04 PM IST

Sri Lankan war planes bombed a suspected Tiger rebel camp in the northeast on Friday as part of a stepped-up offensive against the guerrillas, a defence official said.

"Using MIG 27 jet planes, the air force took Tiger targets in the Thoppigala jungles," military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said.

The defence ministry said warplanes were supported by artillery attacks by the army.

The military claimed that 31 guerrillas were seriously wounded in the attack. There was no comment from the rebels.

The air force staged a similar attack on a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) training camp in Vavuniya, 250 kilometres from the capital, on Thursday.

The raids came after Colombo said on Wednesday it had escalated attacks against the Tigers, sinking two rebel boats and destroying a large ship carrying shells believed intended for the rebels.

Elsewhere, suspected Tamil Tiger rebels gunned down a university student around midnight Thursday in the northern district of Jaffna, officials said.

Meanwhile, the air force blamed engine failure for the crash of a training aircraft at Anuradhapura, 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital during a routine exercise on Thursday.

The crash killed the trainer and the instructor, who were both Sri Lankans, the air force said, after earlier stating that the instructor was a Chinese national.

Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist campaign led by the Tigers has claimed more than 60,000 lives in the past 35 years.

Despite a 2002 Norwegian-brokered truce, more than 4,000 people have been killed in the past 15 months.

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