Sri Lanka warplanes bomb Tiger rebels for second day

July 27, 2006 (AFP) – Warplanes bombed suspected Tamil Tiger positions in northeast Sri Lanka on Thursday for a second day after the rebels allegedly blocked an irrigation canal, a military official said. “The bombing raids were over the northeastern region,” the military official said, adding that three Israeli-built Kfir jets were used in the offensive just north of the same area where they staged three similar sorties Wednesday.

Kfir jets pounded suspected rebel bases Wednesday at Maavilaru and Hirugalaru in northeastern Trincomalee district, where the army said the separatists had blocked the waterway.

Military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said Thursday’s attacks were aimed at a Tiger airstrip just north of the strategic naval port of Trincomalee.

“The Tigers were building an airstrip in that area and we have bombed their airfield today,” Samarasinghe said.

Policy Planning Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, the government spokesman on defence issues, said Wednesday’s raids were to support ground troops escorting irrigation engineers sent to open sluice gates closed by the Tigers.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said the air attacks were made despite talks through tru