Two Indian radar technicians wounded in LTTE attack

September 9th, 2008 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 9 (IANS) Two Indian radar technicians were wounded when Tamil Tiger rebels launched a major pre-dawn assault “coordinated with artillery fire and an air raid” on a key military base in Sri Lanka’s northern Vavuniya town Tuesday, Indian authorities here said.”Two Indian technicians, who are here in Sri Lanka for some time for routine servicing and maintenance of radars, have suffered injuries during the Tuesday attack on the Vavuniya military base,” Indian High Commission spokesperson Dinkar Asthana told IANS on phone.

Asthana said the wounded Indian technicians were now undergoing medical treatment in one of Sri Lanka’s leading hospitals.

Other sources said that their injuries “are not life threatening ones”.

Sri Lankan military Tuesday claimed that it has thwarted the major LTTE attack on the Army-Air Force joint base in Vavuniya, 254 kilometres north of Colombo, and shot down a light-wing rebel aircraft that was fleeing after the attack over rebel-held Mullaitivu district in the north.

The military said that 10 rebels and 11 security force personnel including a policeman were killed and 28 others were wounded in the attack.

The Air Force said that the air defence radars, most of which were provided by India, “spotted two LTTE light aircraft while they were approaching the Vavuniya area around 4 a.m. and subsequently the fighter jets launched from Katunayaka airbase in Colombo have intercepted the terror aircraft destroying one of them over Mullaitivu.

Mullaitivu, a dense jungle area which is considered the base for LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, is located 352 km northeast of Colombo and lies nearly 100 km north of Vavuniya.

Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi are the only two districts in Sri Lanka that remains under the control of the LTTE for the past two decades, with the military pushing the rebels from their former strongholds in the east of the country.

Pro-LTTE website puthinam.com said Tuesday that the LTTE aircraft during the pre-dawn air raid targeted a building complex where the Indian-made 2-D Indra radars were housed.

It said that the radars were damaged while two Indian engineers operating these radars were also wounded in the attack and taken to Colombo for treatment.

However, Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janakka Nanayakkara said that the radars in the base “have not sustained any damage during the rebel attack”, adding that the LTTE aircraft have never been able to get close to the area where the radars are kept, due to counter attacks by the military.

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