Sri Lanka resumes air and naval strikes against Tigers

Apr. 25 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan government launched strikes on Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday in retaliation for a failed assassination attempt that left at least 10 people dead and risked returning the country to war. Air and naval attacks were carried out against a cluster of boats of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and their land bases within the northeastern district of Trincomalee, the defence ministry said in a statement.

“The Sri Lanka navy retaliated with the assistance of the Sri Lanka army and Sri Lanka airforce troops,” the statement said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The strikes were ordered after a female suicide bomber blew herself up at army headquarters in Colombo killing 10, seriously wounding intended target army chief Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, and injuring 30 others.

Fonseka was riding in a silver Peugeot 406, escorted by Land Rover Defender jeeps packed with armed soldiers, when the bomber approached the convoy pretending she was pregnant, police said.

When the woman detonated the explosives strapped to her body five of Fonseka’s bodyguards riding on motorbikes were killed instantly and the army chief was critically wounded, police said.