Sri Lanka capital sealed off amid fears of Tiger attack

April 28, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police and security forces sealed off the capital on Saturday, searching every vehicle entering and leaving the city amid fears of a Tamil Tiger attack, officials said.

Huge traffic jams were reported at every entry point to Colombo with motorists spending several hours before they could be allowed in. Doctors and others essential services were also stuck at roadblocks.

“This is part of the operations to prevent Tigers getting into the city,” a police official said, adding that the operation would last about three hours.

The latest measures follow heightened security in the capital after Thursday’s defence ministry reports that Tamil Tiger guerrillas had entered the air space of the island’s only international airport.

Overnight Thursday, the sky over the Katunayake international airport near Colombo — where government warplanes are also stationed, sharing a runway with civilian passenger jets — was lit up with anti-aircraft gunfire.

Authorities also switched off electricity to the capital so that potential targets would not be illuminated.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who have been fighting the government for 35 yea