Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Air Force bombs rebel targets
Apr 29, 2007 - 10:15:57 AM

Colombo, April 29 - Sri Lankan Air Force jets attacked several identified targets of the Tamil Tigers, hours after rebel aircraft dropped bombs on the outskirts of the capital Colombo Sunday.

Officials said the air raids were carried out at about 5.35 a.m. - on targets near the airstrip of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - at Iranamadu in the rebel-controlled northern Wanni district.

Group Captain Ajantha Silva, the Air Force spokesman, said: 'The LTTE had dropped bombs at two different locations at around 1.30 a.m. One of the bombs landed at Kolonnawa - and another at Muthurajawela -.'

Silva said the damage caused by the bombs was not serious but a fire had broken out at Muthurajawela.

A pro-LTTE website quoted LTTE military spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan as saying that oil and fuel storages in Kolonnawa and Muthurajawela were attacked by LTTE aircraft.

Silva said the Air Force also carried out air raids at the LTTE held Kilinochchi district half an hour before the rebel attack near Colombo.

He said the air defence system was activated in the early hours of Sunday when the military got information that suspected Tamil Tiger rebel aircraft were approaching Colombo.

Electricity was switched off in the city and the firing of anti-aircraft guns caused panic. Loud explosions due to anti-aircraft gunfire were heard in many parts of the city and suburbs.

Officials said the country's only international airport near Colombo was functioning normal.

The incident came when people in the city were watching the cricket World Cup final match between Australia and Sri Lanka. This is the third air strike carried out by LTTE rebels on government targets.

Over 4,000 soldiers, LTTE rebels and civilians have been killed since December 2005 with escalation of violence.

The LTTE has been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east since the 1970s.

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