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Home > India > News > PTI > Report

LTTE aircraft bomb Lankan defence lines

April 27, 2008 20:52 IST

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Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels on Sunday used two light aircraft to bomb Lankan defence lines, for the first time in six months, as fierce clashes between the Tamil Tigers and government troops left 28 guerrillas and 8 soldiers dead, officials said.

"Despite heightened ground confrontations between troops and LTTE at the Wanni battle theatre, it was reported that three bombs were dropped by LTTE on Sunday at the military forward defence lines in Welioya at around 1.45 am," a defence spokesman said.

According to military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, no damages were caused to troops in the aerial bombing by the LTTE.

The bombing by the LTTE today was the first since it helped its cadres on the ground attack a Lankan air force base last October in which the government lost eight planes.

"During the wee hours the Sri Lankan Air Force defence network radars detected two light aircraft of LTTE, which were airborne and heading towards North east Welioya.

"In accordance with standard operating procedures, SLAF interceptor aircraft were made airborne in the direction of the intruding enemy craft. However, en route to the area it was observed that the LTTE aircraft were fleeing and heading back," an official release quoted air force sources as saying.

Reports of fighting have increased in recent months amid government's declaration to crush the group by the end of the year. Fighting, which has escalated in the past two years, further flared after the government announced in January it was pulling out of the 2002 cease-fire pact with the rebels.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent state for the minority ethnic Tamils, alleging marginalization of the community for decades by governments dominated by the Sinhalese.

Meanwhile, intermittent battles were reported in general areas north of Manthai and east of Veddayamurippu in Mannar.

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