Sri Lanka warplanes bomb Tamil Tiger targets

May 22, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan fighter jets bombed a suspected Tamil Tiger training facility inside rebel-held territory on Tuesday, the defence ministry said. Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the latest surge of fighting that began in December 2005, according to the defence ministry. Warplanes hit an area south of Mankulam, about 300 kilometres (170 miles) north of the capital Colombo, the ministry said in a statement adding that the target was a training camp of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“The air force believes that the LTTE terrorists suffered heavy damages,” the statement said.

There was no immediate reaction from the LTTE, which is fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east.

The ministry also said two Tiger fighters were killed in a ground attack in the northern district of Vavuniya, the gateway to the rebel-held north.

Two government soldiers were also wounded in the firefight on Monday evening, it said.

The government and the LTTE say they are upholding a 2002 truce arranged by peace broker Norway and blame each other for the violence.