Sri Lanka
LTTE claim air attack on military base in Sri Lanka
Apr 24, 2007 - 10:00:18 AM

Colombo, April 24 - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - claim to have used light aircraft to bomb a Sri Lankan military air base in the north of the country early Tuesday, inflicting heavy damages and casualties.

The Defence Ministry denies the claim saying they curbed an attempt by rebel planes to fly close to the air base at Palaly, 420 km north of the capital.

'An attempt was made to fly one of their - aircrafts close to the base, but the forces based in the military complex prevented them getting closer, forcing them to turn off,' a spokesperson said.

The military did say that rebels had fired mortars into military-controlled areas in the Jaffna peninsula, including the Palaly base, but details were not known immediately.

Spokesperson for the LTTE, Rasiah Ilanthiriyan, was quoted on the pro-rebel Tamilnet website as saying that after the attack continuous explosions were heard from inside the high security zone around the base fuelling speculation that a major ammunition dump had been hit.

On March 26, Tamil rebels launched their first air raid with two aircraft that dropped three bombs on an air force base adjoining the international airport near Colombo.

In a separate incident, four bus passengers were killed and 37 injured when their bus was caught in a claymore mine attack in the northern part of the country Monday night.

Fighting in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka have escalated during the past 15 months claiming over 4,000 lives.

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