Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan rebel navy headquarters destroyed, says military
Apr 4, 2007 - 9:34:55 PM

Colombo, April 4 - The Sri Lankan air force Wednesday destroyed the headquarters of the Tamil rebel Sea Tigers on the north-eastern coast, a military spokesman said.

The air strike wiped out the base located in the Pudukudiiruppu area of Mullativu, 380 km north-east of the capital, Wednesday afternoon, said Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe.

'Pilots have observed a large fire erupting and several of their buildings being damaged in the attack,' he said, adding that several fuel dumps were also bombed.

'We do not have details of their casualties, but believe that a large number of their cadres would have been killed,' he said.

However, Tamil rebels said that air force MiG planes had bombed civilian settlements in Pudukudiiruppu killing two civilians and four others.

The rebels' official website said that a number of houses and a building of a non-governmental organisation assisting landmine victims were damaged in the attack.

The rebels said four civilians had been rushed to a nearby hospital after the attack, but neither denied nor confirmed military claims that their Sea Tigers headquarters was destroyed.

The rebels normally do not admit their casualties or damage. The rebel unit fighting at sea has been responsible for a series of suicide attacks on Sri Lankan naval craft during the past few years.

The unit is also responsible for smuggling in military hardware by unloading stocks at sea and transporting it to coastal areas.

Fighting in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka have escalated during the past 15 months with over 4,000 deaths reported during this period.

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