LTTE heavy weapon deployment, boats bombed: Sri Lanka Air Force

July 18th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, July 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka Air Force Friday claimed that its supersonic fighter jets have carried out two consecutive early morning air raids targeting suspected heavy weapon deployment and logistic boats of the Tamil Tigers in the northern Mullaitivu district. Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said that during the first air raid at around 6.10 a.m. Friday, the ground attack jets pounded “a heavy weapon deployment of the LTTE” about two km west of the Mullaitivu lagoon.

Nanayakkara said that 10 minutes after the first attack, the jets targeted one km north of Mullaitivu lagoon’s mouth, “after intelligence reports confirmed about concentrated activities of large number of LTTE cadres and deployment of three large boats in the vicinity”.

“Two of the three LTTE boats were destroyed while the third one was damaged during the air raid. One of them sank after a massive explosion while the other one caught fire and sunk immediately after the attack,” Nanayakkara told IANS.

The air force suspects that these LTTE boats could have been on a supply mission.

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

Meanwhile, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said Friday that at least 19 LTTE cadres and six government soldiers were killed and 47 more wounded on both sides Thursday during sporadic clashes in the northern Vavuniya and north-eastern Weli-Oya regions.

During the clashes in the Vavuniya front, it said six LTTE bunkers were captured by the advancing troops.

Claiming that at least three LTTE rebels’ bodies have been recovered by the military, the MCNS said one government soldier was missing in action after Thursday’s clashes.

It said one more soldier was killed while defusing a booby trap set by the fleeing LTTE cadres at Madhu area in the north-western Mannar district. The troops have recovered 21 LTTE anti-personnel landmines from these areas.

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