Commandos destroyed SLAF chopper - LTTE
[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan air force Mi-17 irreparably damaged on Friday had been attacked by a Black Tiger unit which had penetrated SLA defences near Karipattamurippu, said the Liberation Tigers in a statement issued today.
The LTTE said the Russian-built transport helicopter had been completely destroyed in the daylight raid and that the Tiger commandos had returned safely to base.
The LTTE statement read:
“An LTTE Black Tiger unit on Friday completely destroyed a landed Sri Lankan airforce MI 17 helicopter, after penetrating the army's perimeter defences in the vicinity of Karipattamurippu (Vanni). The helicopter was distributing supplies to the occupying Sinhalese forces when the attack took place, around 1.30 PM. All members of the Black Tiger unit returned to base safely after successful completion of the operation.”
Initial unconfirmed reports from Vavuniya had said that the helicopter had been hit by LTTE fire whilst attempting to land at the SLA’s Olumadu camp. Olumadu is located close to Karipattamurippu. Both are on the Mankulam-Mullaitivu road in the Vanni.