RPG downed Mi-24

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 June 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter (SLAF) gunship was shot down by the Liberation Tigers at Kachchankulam, 3 km. south of Vavuniya Airforce base, this morning around 8.55, ex-militant sources told TamilNet today. Four personnel on board were killed, they added.

mig_24.jpgThey said two helicopters were flying from Anuradhapura to Vavuniya and one of them was brought down by the Liberation Tigers using a rocket propelled grenade (RPG).

However, SLAF sources had told the sources that the helicopter had crashed due to a technical fault.

Elsewhere 2 SLA soldiers were injured when the Liberation Tigers ambushed an army patrol this morning in Kommathurai, 18 km north of eastern town of Batticaloa this morning, said the sources.

They said that the Air Force jets had bombed the areas of Chenkaladi west, Iluppadichchenai and Kommathurai, around 7.30 a.m., after the attack.

Up to 30 bombs were dropped in the area, they added.

Following the air raid, LTTE artillery began shelling the Kommathurai SLA camp, which killed two soldiers and injured another two, prompting the SLA at the Kommathurai camp to retaliate by shelling nearby villages the sources said.

Two civilians were wounded near Vantharamoolai campus of the Eastern University, 3 km north of Kommathurai, in the army's shelling they added.

The Sri Lankan government has imposed strict censorship on the reporting of military activity. This, combined with the ban on correspondents entering the war zone has made it impossible to independently verify events taking place there.


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