Sri Lanka steps up air attacks against Tigers: military

September 7, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes and helicopter gunships pounded suspected Tamil Tiger bases in northern Sri Lanka on Sunday, the defence ministry said. Both sides admitted heavy losses in ground battles last week.

Fighter jets attacked a training camp of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Mankulam, just south of the rebel political capital of Kilinochchi, 330 kilometres (200 miles) north of Colombo, the ministry said.

It said Mi-24 helicopter gunships were deployed to bomb a naval base of the Tigers early Sunday in the Pooneryn area of northern Sri Lanka.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. There was also no comment from the Tigers about the latest fighting, which came as Sri Lankan troops were on an offensive to capture Kilinochchi.