Sri Lankan war planes bombs suspected LTTE targets

September 7th, 2008 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 7 (IANS) Supersonic fighters and gunship helicopters of the Sri Lankan air force Sunday carried out raids targeting suspected strongholds of the Tamil Tigers in the north where the troops are inching towards the rebels’ administrative hub of Kilinochchi despite heavy resistance, military authorities said here Sunday.Air Force sources said the fighter jets had bombed “an LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) training camp” located three kilometres west of Mankulam while the gunship helicopters targeted a Sea Tiger base in Pooneryn area in the north Sunday morning.

Mankulam is 338 km north of Colombo while the coastal Pooneryn village is located in the west of Elephant Pass, an isthmus linking the northern Jaffna peninsula to the rest of the island by land.

The air force did not say anything about the possible losses the rebels suffered due to the air raids. There was no immediate reaction from the rebels either.

The Media Centre for National Security said Sunday that eight rebels and three soldiers were killed while five rebels and 10 soldiers were wounded in sporadic clashes across the north Saturday.

Despite claims and counter-claims, heavy fighting last week left several combatants killed and wounded as the troops consolidating their newly captured strategic villages in the west of Kilinochchi faced fierce resistance from the rebels.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated the exchange of 30 bodies of soldiers and 20 bodies of rebels to the respective parties within two days after these clashes.

The intensity of the future clashes are expected to be very high as the military said the advancing troops were fighting fierce battles with the rebels just 12 kilometres away from Kilinochchi.

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