Sri Lanka bombs Tamil Tiger-held north: ministry

Nov 25, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes bombed the Tamil Tiger-held north Sunday, with the government claiming it destroyed a satellite communications centre but the rebels saying only civilians were killed. The air strike hit an area just outside the rebels’ political capital of Kilinochchi that was “also a clandestine meeting place for LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) leaders,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

But the LTTE said the attack only hit a civilian settlement, killing three members of the same family and injuring seven other locals.

The rebels also said three more civilians died in the north in a roadside bomb attack that it claimed was carried out by the national army’s so-called deep penetration units.

According to the LTTE, the government was trying to disrupt the rebels’ “heroes’ week” celebrations, which ends on Tuesday with an annual policy statement from the group’s elusive leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The government has not commented on the roadside bombing.

The rebels have been commemorating nearly 20,000 of their men and women killed fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the tropical island.

The Sri Lankan a