5TH LEAD

Tiger aircrafts bomb Palaali military base

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 April 2007, 22:09 GMT]
Two attack aircraft of the Liberation Tigers bombed the Sri Lankan military’s main base complex in the Jaffna peninsula in the early hours of Tuesday morning, inflicting heavy damage and casualties, LTTE military spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. Tamileelam Air Force bombers had hit an Engineering Unit of the complex and a military storage, the Tigers spokesman claimed. Meanwhile sources said continuous explosions were heard from inside the High Security Zone for five hours after the air raid. Military sources in Colombo confirmed that at least 6 of their personnel were killed. Informed military sources said more than 30 troopers were wounded the attack inside the HSZ.

LTTE leader Mr. V. Pirapaharan with Tamileelam Air Force (TAF) members, before their mission to Palaali [Photo: LTTE]


Military Spokesperson of the Tigers, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan (Marshall)
The two Tamileealm Air Force (TAF) aircraft struck at 1.20 am and returned to their base in LTTE controlled Vanni, Mr. Ilanthirayan told TamilNet.

The air attack inflicted severe casualties amongst Sri Lankan security forces personnel at the base complex, Mr. Ilanthirayan added.

In Colombo, residents along Ratmala-Colombo Road witnessed more than fifty trips of various ambulances shutlling between the military hospital in Colombo and the military airport in Ratmalana.

6 seriously injured soldiers were transferred to Colombo hospital from the military hospital.

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) spokesman Group. Cap. Ajantha Silva told media in Colombo that their runway in Palaali was intact.

Power supply was shut down for more than 3 hours in Jaffna after the air raid, civilian sources said.

Cellphone links to the northern peninsula was also cut off following the air attack.

According to sources in Jaffna, clashes were also reported along the forward defence lines separating LTTE and GoSL-controlled parts of the Jaffna peninsula.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery based in Palali fired artillery shells towards LTTE controlled territory, continuing a bombardment that has been ongoing for several days.

The air strike on the Palali base complex, the second claimed by the Tigers, comes a month after the two TAF planes attacked the military airbase at Katunayake causing severe damage to the Sri Lankan Air Force’s primary installation in the island.


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