Sri Lanka rebels say suicide unit used in attack

Oct 22, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels said Monday they had used members of an elite suicide squad to stage their first-ever coordinated ground and air assault against a key military base. Military sources said the bigger loss for the security forces apart from the fatalities was the destruction of a Beechcraft aircraft fitted with advanced electronic spy devices. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said 21 members of the “Black Tigers” unit launched the ground attack before dawn, and were later backed by two light fixed-wing aircraft.

“We have destroyed eight aircraft on the ground at Anuradhapura, which is the largest logistics base for the Sri Lankan security forces,” LTTE spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told AFP by telephone.

Speaking from the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi in the north of the country, Ilanthiriyan said they were still waiting for details of casualties as rebels continued to clash with troops seven hours after the attack began.

The Black Tigers are tasked with going on missions from which they can be certain of not returning, causing as much death and destruction as possible before committing suicide, either by bomb or cyanide pill.

The Sri Lan