April 30, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels said Monday that they hit a military war plane on a bombing mission over their territory with anti-aircraft fire. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they attacked the Israeli-built Kfir jet Monday as it flew over the rebel-held Kilinochchi district, but that the aircraft was not shot down.
“Our anti-aircraft unit confirms attacking a Kfir jet over Kilinochchi,” the rebel’s spokesman, Rasiah Ilanthiriyan, said by telephone from the area, which lies 330 kilometres (206 miles) north of the capital, Colombo.
“The aircraft did not fall within our territory,” he said.
But the Sri Lankan military denied that an aircraft had been hit. It said all military aircraft were safe.
“Tamil Tigers had dreamt of a Sri Lankan air force Kfir jet being shot over Iranamadu (in Kilinochchi district),” the defence ministry said in a statement.
Sri Lankan jets have been bombing inside rebel-held territory on a regular basis since April last year.
The rebels have launched their own air attacks recently, using light aircraft to bomb military and civilian targets over the last month.