Sri Lanka probes air raid security lapses

March 26, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka launched two investigations into security lapses that led to the first ever Tamil Tiger air raid against the island’s main military base, where three airmen were killed and 16 wounded, officials said. The air force appointed a five-member team to probe lapses that led to the night attack against the highly-guarded Katunayake airbase where the military maintains its fleet of supersonic jet fighters.

“The police, too, launched an investigation because they were the first to pass on information about the sighting of two unidentified aircraft an hour before the attack,” a top police source said.

He said police were trying to investigate what action was taken by the military after the police Special Task Force commandos alerted the airforce when the rebel craft passed Ganeshapuram, in Vavuniya district.

From the first sighting, the rebels travelled for about an hour covering a stretch of at least 200 kilometers (125 miles) in two light fixed-wing aircraft before hitting the airbase.
Tiger pictures showed that four bombs were mounted on each fuselage.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) released pictures of seven “Air Tiger” guerrillas dressed in light blue camouflage unifor