Jet fighter canon injures four at Sri Lanka air base

July 8, 2007 (AFP) – Four airmen were seriously injured Sunday after a canon was activated on a jet fighter near the island’s only international airport, officials said. Tiger rebels have carried out attacks against the military base as well as the civilian airport, located just north of the capital Colombo. The war plane was being loaded with weapons at the Katunayake air base — which shares a runway with the Bandaranaike International Airport — when the explosion happened, a military official said.

“Four airmen have been injured and taken to hospital and there is some damage to the aircraft also,” the official said declining to be named.

The noise of the weapon blast was heard by residents leading police to rush a team to the area.

Sri Lankan military planes have been bombing suspected Tamil Tiger positions in the east of the island on a daily basis in the past week to support ground troops conducting a major drive to take a rebel jungle stronghold.