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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 107

Unconfirmed aerial attack by Tigers on Katunayake military air base: Killed two airmen and wounded 17.

Colombo, 26 March, ( Sri Lankan authorities have yet to confirm the claim of the Tamil Tigers that they had launched an aerial attack on the military air base adjacent to the international airport at Katunayake.

Latest reports reveal that LTTE bombed the military airport from a light aircraft killing two airmen and wounding 17.

Tamil Tiger website claimed that the Tiger planes had returned home safely after attacking the military base.

Air force spokesman said the LTTE bombed the military airport from a light aircraft killing two airmen and wounding 17.

At this early hour, there are no reports available of casualties or damages either to civlians or military installations.

As precautionary measure, however, the Katunayakae International Airport has been closed.

If the Tiger claim that they launched an aerial attack is correct then this is first time that the Tigers had penetrated the defences of the Sri Lankan security forces by air.

Residents in the area told the media that they heard loud explosions around 1 a.m. this (Monday) morning. Fighting on the ground was also reported. Whether this means that the Tigers had launched a two-pronged land and air attack is not clear.

This is the second time the Tigers attacked the Katunayake Airport. The first time was in 2001 when their surprise attack damage aircraft at the Katunayake Airport. This time the Tigers had targeted only the military air base.

If the Tigers had launched an aerial attack the Sri Lankan forces are likely to retaliate by targetig military bases in the Vanni. This new development comes at a time when the Tigers had launched their expected Eelam War IV in the north.

The army was reported to be advancing in Mannar which is in the North West. There are conflicting reports as to the number of casualties and the gains and losses of territory. The latest attack on a strategic military base in the south is bound to escalate the current rond of violence.

- Asian Tribune -

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