Home / International / International -- World Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Sri Lankan Air Force Base Under Air Raids
Adjust font size:

A major base of the Sri Lankan Air Force, some 30 km north of the island country's capital Colombo, was attacked by suspected aircraft of Tamil Tigers early Monday morning, defense officials said.

The Katunayake air base, adjacent to Sri Lanka's only international airport, the Bandaranaike International Airport, came under attack by an attack aircraft at about 12:45 AM (07:15 GMT), officials from the Media Center for National Security said.

Defense officials said the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) aircraft, targeting the Air Force's fighter aircraft, dropped two bombs at the air base's engineering section, killing three airmen and injuring 16.

They said that neither the military aircraft nor the runaway was damaged in the bombing and the operation of Bandaranaike International Airport had not been affected.

However, airport officials and industry sources said some flights had been canceled or delayed due to the attack.

The Sri Lankan government has condemned the attack and appealed for unity to fight the menace of terrorism.

"The government vehemently condemns the cowardly attempt to attack the Katunayake Air Force Camp in the aftermath of major defeats suffered by the LTTE in the north and east," said the government in a statement.

The statement said similar attacks might continue and the security forces have been placed on full alert.

The government appealed to all political forces to rise above narrow political differences and extend fullest cooperation to the government's efforts to fight against terrorism.

"It is the responsibility of all concerned to cast aside petty political differences and stand by the government to safeguard unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation and to eradicate the menace of terrorism," the statement said.

The pro-LTTE website TamilNet reported that two LTTE attack aircraft carried out bombing raids at the Katunayake air base at 12:45 a.m. and returned safely to the rebel controlled north.

The website quoted LTTE military spokesman Rasaiah Ilanthiraiyan as saying that the targets for the air attack were the parking area of the Air Force's Kfir and MIG-27 fast-attack aircraft.

Ilanthiraiyan said other military installations of the security forces will also be targets of future attacks.

In a similar predawn attack on the Katunayake air base in July 2001, the LTTE destroyed 13 aircraft including two Kfir jet fighters, one MI-24 helicopter and one MIG-27 jet fighter.

The incident came as government troops and LTTE rebels were being locked in fierce battles in the island country's north and east.

More than 4,000 people have been killed since December 2005 despite a Norwegian-arranged truce in place.

The LTTE has been fighting for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's 12.5 percent Tamil minority since the 1970s.

(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Sri Lankan President Reshuffles Cabinet
Sri Lankan Army Recaptures Rebel Held Town
Sri Lanka Air Force Raids Rebel Positions
Sri Lanka Nationalists Demand Banning of Tigers
Tamil Tigers to Resume Independence Struggle
Sri Lanka Navy Sinks Tamil Tiger Boats off E Coast
Sri Lanka Gov't, Rebel Talks Collapse
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号