Fighting in Jaffna, Sri Lanka jets bomb Tiger base: rebels

COLOMBO, Aug 11, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops shelled Tamil Tiger positions in the northern peninsula of Jaffna Friday shortly after launching air strikes elsewhere in the island, the guerrillas said. The military began firing artillery across a de facto front line at Muhamalai in Jaffna, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told AFP.

“They are attacking our positions and are trying to move down to our areas,” Ilanthiriyan said.

“This is a ploy to attack civilians and we will defend them and hit back.”

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Another Tiger leader S. Puleedevan said Sri Lankan war planes carried out at least five bombing sorties against an LTTE base in the district of Batticaloa on Friday.

“They bombed one of our bases. There are heavy casualties, but I don’t have the details,” Puleedevan said.

“This attack is about 90 kilometres (56 miles) away from where there was fighting yesterday,” he added. “This is a violation of the ceasefire and shows the Sri Lankan government is only interested in war.”

Friday’s bombing ended a brief lull in fighting between the two sides, who had been pounding each other