Sri Lanka crash lands spy plane

April 20, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s air force said Friday it had lost an unmanned spy plane flying over the country’s embattled northeast close to Tamil Tiger territory. The Israeli-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was lost somewhere over the northern edge of Trincomalee district, close to the Tamil rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu, Group Captain Ajantha Silva said.

“There was a malfunction and the (ground-based) pilots landed it somewhere between Pulmoddai and Kokkilai,” Silva said. “We are sending helicopters to the area to look for it.”

The Sri Lankan air force has lost at least three Israeli-built Drones, or spy planes, since 1997.

The latest loss came as the air force stepped up air attacks against suspected Tamil Tiger positions in the northeast of the island. .