Suicide Tiger base bombed in Sri Lanka: defence ministry

September 27th, 2008 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 27 (IANS) The Sri Lankan Air Force Saturday carried out an air raid targeting a suspected “Black Tiger” (suicide squad) training base in the north, frequented by the rebel outfit’s intelligence chief Pottu Amman, defence sources said here Saturday. The ministry of defence said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) main female suicide Tiger training facility at Rathnapuram, located about 1.5 km east of the Jaffna-Kandy main highway in the rebels’ “political capital” of Kilinochchi, was bombed based on “real-time ground information”.

“The site is known to be the main female black Tiger training and coordinating facility and a most frequented location by LTTE’s intelligence wing chief Pottu Amman,” the ministry said, adding serious damages were caused to the facility.

It was not immediately known whether rebels’ intelligence chief was present there at the time of the attack.

Pottu Amman is a wanted man in India in connection with the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

The military said the advancing troops are just four kilometres away from Kilinochchi town, located 350 km north of here, and expected to attack it next week.

The military is determined to capture Kilinochchi and the defence experts say it would deal a major blow to the LTTE militarily and psychologically, as it would corner the rebels to operate only in the north-eastern Mullaitivu district.

The UN and other aid workers moved out of the rebel-held areas to the nearby areas last week on the request of the government citing security reasons. Thousands of civilians have already moved from Kilinochchi deeper into the rebel-held areas in the north.

Meanwhile, military authorities here said Saturday at least 60 LTTE guerrillas and three government soldiers were killed and over 65 wounded on both sides during sporadic clashes throughout Friday across the restive north.

There was no immediate reaction from the rebels regarding the latest military claims.

Over 5,000 people have been killed and several thousands faced displacement due to fresh escalation of violence since December 2005.

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