Lankan jets pound suspected LTTE targets, fierce fighting on

October 10th, 2008 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Oct 10 (IANS) Ground attack fighter jets of the Sri Lankan Air Force carried out three air raids Friday morning on suspected targets of the Tamil Tiger rebels, as fierce fighting to capture rebel strongholds continued to rage across the restive north, military sources said. The first air raid by the supersonic fighter jets was carried out 6.30 a.m. Friday targeting “a LTTE communication centre located three km northeast of Paranthan”, a village located some two km north of LTTE’s administrative capital of Kilinochchi in the north, the Media Centre For National Security (MCNS) said.

“Another air strike was carried out by fighter jets targeting senior LTTE leaders hideout located two km north-east of Kilinochchi town around 7 a.m. At the same time, Air Force fighter jets pounded a LTTE black tiger camp 1.5 km west of Paranthan,” it said, adding that the pilots said the targets were accurately hit.

There was no immediate reaction from the rebels in this regard.

Fierce fighting is on in the north with the military claiming that the advancing government troops were just two km away from Kilinochchi town, located about 350 km north of here.

The MCNS said at least 33 LTTE guerrillas and a soldier were killed and dozens were wounded on both sides during sporadic clashes Thursday in the north.

The fresh air raids come a day after a top Sri Lankan cabinet minister narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by a suspected female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber on the outskirts of capital Colombo.

The suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) blew herself up Thursday noon targeting the motorcade of Agricultural Minister Maithiripala Sirisena. The minister’s vehicle narrowly escaped the blast and he escaped unharmed.

But one of his security vehicles got caught in the blast, wounding seven people including a deputy minister.

The MCNS in a report Friday said that two of the seven civilians wounded in the blast had succumbed to their injuries.

“One succumbed to his injuries at the Kalubowila Hospital and another at the Colombo National Hospital. All the injured are males,” it said.

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