Sri Lankan rebels accused of strike plan, as Tiger targets hit

Nov 3, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes pounded suspected Tamil Tiger targets for a third straight day Friday after the defence ministry charged that the guerrillas were preparing for a major offensive Sri Lanka’s defence ministry said supersonic jets hit two locations of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the eastern district of Batticaloa and the northwestern district of Mannar.

“Intelligence sources confirmed the Tigers have suffered seriously due to these attacks and these bases were used to launch attacks on the security force’s detachments at Mannar and Batticaloa,” the ministry said.

It said in a statement that sporadic attacks took place against security forces across the embattled regions.

Police said a civilian was also gunned down by suspected militants in the northern district of Vavuniya.

The ministry accused the LTTE of gearing up for a major offensive following the failure of the latest peace talks in Geneva last weekend and ahead of their leader’s birthday later this month.

The ministry said the Tigers had stepped up artillery and mortar attacks against security forces since the collapse of the talks.

Government forces hit back on Thursday with air str