Sri Lanka war planes hit Tigers as heavy fighting rages

May 7, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes Monday bombed suspected Tamil Tiger positions in the island’s north where heavy ground battles were raging, a military spokesman said. Supersonic jets hit positions near Iranamadu where the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) maintain a clandestine airfield, spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said.

He said a Tiger military training facility was targeted by the air force, but had no details of casualties. “The training base had caught fire and was burning for several hours,” he said.

In ground battles at Vavuniya, gateway to the rebel-held Wanni region, the military lost seven soldiers killed and 31 wounded in the past three days, Samarasinghe said, adding that the Tigers too had suffered heavy casualties.

He said the number of police commandos killed in a bomb attack in the east of the island Sunday had risen to four.

For their part, the Tigers said they had beaten back a military attempt to advance into the rebel-held part of Vavuniya and had killed at least five government troopers for the loss of three of their own combatants.

“We have beaten back an advance by government forces and we captured the bodie