Sri Lankan troops capture last Tamil Tiger airstrip: military

February 3, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan government troops on Tuesday captured the last of several jungle airstrips used by the Tamil Tigers to launch air strikes across the island, the defence ministry said. The two-kilometre (1.25-mile) long runway and hangar for light aircraft was seized by troops advancing on the village of Thirivilaru in Mullaittivu district, the ministry said.

No aircraft were found, but search operations were underway, a military official added.

The Tigers are believed to have five Czech-built Zlin-143 aircraft, smuggled onto the island in pieces and re-assembled.

The guerrillas last launched an air attack early in September 2008, when they bombed a military base.