SLAF says LTTE camp bombed
[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan MoD claimed in the afternoon today that the SLAF had bombed out an LTTE camp in an area north of Mankulam in the Vanni around 11 a.m. this morning. The incident could not be verified independently.
The MoD communique said -
"On 23rd Nov. 97, a vehicle proceeding along a gravel road north of Mankulam was tracked and followed. The vehicle reached its destination which turned out to be a well fortified and concealed terrorist camp. A heavy machine gun, a few vehicles and LTTE cadres clad in black uniforms were sighted in the premises. At 1100 hours on 23rd Nov. 97 ground attack aircrafts (sic) accurately bombed the LTTE camp. A huge explosion followed by a massive ball of fire was observed. The raging fire with thick black smoke was seen for a considerable period of time."
The MoD communique does not specify what kind of aircraft bombed the LTTE camp or whether a UAV was involved in the observations.
Air Force sources say that ground attack aircraft have to fly at 25000 feet to be safe from missiles fired by the LTTE. The Kfir - C2 jets are so fast that by the time the bombs land, the planes are miles away.
Observations such as those which are carefully described in this MoD release are difficult to make under these circumstances said an analyst.
Furthermore, delayed reports from the ground indicate that civilians are often killed in these high-speed bombing raids.
The Sri Lankan government has banned reporters from the war zones of the island, making independent verification of claims difficult.
The SLAF, currently, caught in a controversy over alleged corruption, is trying to pep up its image by making regular claims about effectively knocking out enemy targets.
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