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Tamil Tigers make bold attack on Colombo

Posted on 03/01/2019 | in 深圳桑拿网 | by

At least two people were killed and 44 others wounded when Tamil Tigers smashed a light aircraft into the main tax building of Sri Lanka’s capital.

深圳桑拿网

The victims were rushed to the main Colombo National hospital, mostly suffering from shrapnel wounds, hospital director Hector Weerasinghe said.

Military officials said one of the light aircraft was shot down near the international airport while the wreckage of the second plane was found inside the bombed Inland Revenue building in the capital, which caught fire.

Witnesses said the wreckage was on the 13th floor suggesting that the bomb-laden light aircraft had crashed into the tax office in a kamikaze-style attack.

“We have found a blown off arm of the pilot on an upper floor,” an air force officer told reporters at the scene. He said a few pieces of the wreckage were found and they believed the aircraft had been carrying at least two bombs.

The Tigers were believed to operate five Czech-built Zlin-143 aircraft smuggled into the island in pieces and re-assembled.

The country\’s only international airport was shut down briefly and flights diverted to neighbouring India as rebel planes violated the country\’s airspace, officials said.

Rogue aircraft shot down

Air force spokesman Janaka Nanayakkara said gunners had brought down one of the light aircraft near the international airport where the military maintains its main air bases.

“As one of the Tiger planes was fleeing, it was shot down near Katunayake,” Nanayakkara said, adding that the body of a Tiger pilot had been recovered by troops.

Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said the Tigers had bombed the main tax office, which caught fire. Several floors of the building were gutted. The office is located close to a luxury hotel, but there were no reports of foreign nationals among the casualties.

Residents in Colombo said they heard blasts shortly after the military ordered a blackout on Friday evening, plunging the capital and its half-a-million inhabitants into darkness as part of the air defence system.

Anti-aircraft batteries then began firing into the night sky.

Military officials said they had tracked two aircraft of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), operating out of a narrow strip of land still under their control in the north-east of the island.

The military has captured six out of the seven air strips used by rebels, but security forces have — until now — not taken any of their aircraft.

Renewed attack on Colombo

The last Tiger air strike in the capital was in October 2008 when they bombed a power station, but did not cause any casualties.

In September they hit a military base in the north of the island causing considerable damage and killing a dozen security personnel.

The latest air strike came as government forces claimed they had destroyed the conventional fighting capability of the Tigers. Troops earlier Friday took another village from the rebels who have lost over 98 percent of the territory they controlled two years earlier.

Tens of thousands of people have died since the Tigers launched a campaign in 1972 to carve out a homeland for minority Tamils in the majority Sinhalese island\’s north and east.

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