LTTE’s intelligence headquarters bombed: Sri Lanka

September 10th, 2008 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 10 (IANS) Sri Lanka Wednesday said its air force fighter jets had bombed a suspected stronghold of the Tamil Tigers in the north, a day after the rebels denied the government’s claim of shooting down one of their aircraft.The defence ministry issued a statement here saying that the fighter jets “made precision air sorties at the main intelligence command and control centre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), located one kilometre west of Kilinochchi around 6.45 a.m. Wednesday”.

Kilinochchi, located about 370 km north of here, is considered the administrative hub of the rebels.

“The target was acquired on reliable ground information received by intelligence sources. A high profile LTTE gathering was taking place at the site during the time of the attack. This is also a site frequented by the outfit’s intelligence wing leader Pottu Amman,” the statement said.

There was no immediate reaction from the LTTE in this regard, but the defence ministry said that “the LTTE communication circuits have totally gone down and silence remained since the attack”.

The stepped up air raids have come a day after the rebels denied Sri Lanka’s claim that air force jets had shot down a LTTE light-wing aircraft that was fleeing after carrying out a bombing mission in support of the rebels’ land attack on a Sri Lankan military base in Vavuniya.

At least 10 suicide cadres, including five female rebels; 10 soldiers; a policeman and a civilian were killed and 31 others injured during the three-hour long clashes Tuesday. The Indian High Commission here said that two Indian radar technicians were also injured in this attack.

The defence ministry said that air force jets intercepted “two LTTE light aircraft fleeing after the failed mission at Vavuniya and shot down one of the aircraft” in the skies over Muallaitivu in the early hours of Tuesday.

Mullaitivu, a dense jungle area that is considered the base for LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, is located about 350 km northeast of here.

The LTTE, in an email statement to media Tuesday evening, denied the military’s claims.

“The aircraft of the Air Tigers that participated in the sortie safely returned home,” it said.

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