Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers claim new air attack

April 24, 2007 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels said they carried out their second-ever air attack on Sri Lankan government troops on Tuesday, a claim that was immediately denied by the military. The government on Monday asked peace broker Norway to put off a visit to rebel-held territory by their ambassador, citing security considerations.

Two light aircraft of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) bombed the Palaly military air base in the Jaffna peninsula just after midnight, guerrilla spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan said.

“We have carried out our second air attack … on the Palaly air field and their military stores,” he said by satellite telephone from northern Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan military official denied the announcement but said the guerrillas had fired artillery towards the Palaly complex.

“We deny the air attack,” an official at the defence ministry’s media centre said. “But they fired artillery towards Palaly and we have retaliated using artillery. There were no damages to security forces.”

Ilanthiriyan said their pilots saw flames after dropping bombs on the sprawling complex, which is the main airbridge to the Jaffna peninsula, a former Tiger bastion t