Sri Lanka conducts air raid on LTTE training camp

July 30th, 2008 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, July 30 (IANS) The Sri Lankan Air Force carried out an air raid on a suspected training facility of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the rebel-held Wanni region early Wednesday, the defence ministry said in a statement issued here. The suspected training base of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide cadre, known as the Black Tigers, at Iranaimadu Thiruvaiaru was destroyed in the air raid carried out at 6.35 a.m., the ministry said.

“Intelligence sources said the targeted Black Tiger camp was being operated under the guidance of the LTTE’s intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman. The target was obtained after receiving information that suicide bombers were active in the camp,” the statement said.

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

The fresh air raid has come at a time when Colombo is hosting the 15th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) amid tight security.

The foreign secretaries of the eight member countries continued their deliberations here Wednesday for the second consecutive day on issues related to regional food security, energy security and combating terrorism.

Top leaders of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will meet Aug 2 and 3 to thrash out agreements on various regional issues, mainly in the spheres of trade, education and tourism.

The US, Japan, China, South Korea, Iran, Mauritius and the European Union will participate as observer states. Australia and Myanmar are also seeking observer status.

The LTTE had announced a 10-day unilateral truce “as a goodwill gesture” for the SAARC summit between July 26 and Aug 4, but the ruling coalition led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected the offer as “a trap”.

“We have had enough experience with the LTTE and its commitment to truce. This administration cannot be taken for a ride,” Sri Lanka Health Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva told reporters Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said in a report published Wednesday that at least 19 rebels and four soldiers were killed and over 20 wounded on both sides during sporadic clashes in the Vavuniya and Mannar regions Tuesday.

It said that the advancing government troops have captured fresh rebel-held areas in these regions after fierce clashes.

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