Tiger aircraft bomb Sri Lanka’s main airbase, airport shut

March 25, 2007 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels bombed Sri Lanka’s main military airbase located next to the international airport Monday, leaving at least two airmen dead and 17 wounded, officials said. .

Updated 04.11

For the latest developments on this and other stories click here are go to the LBO front page or type www.lbo.lk on your browser The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) used their aircraft for the first time in a combat mission to bomb the Katunayake military base, Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told AFP.

“This mission was undertaken to reduce the air capability of the Sri Lankan airforce,” Ilanthiriyan said. “We will undertake similar missions to prevent the airforce bombing civilians.”

Sri Lanka’s military admitted that the Tigers had used their aircraft for the first time and bombed the airbase, where two people were killed and another 17 wounded. Two parked helicopters were also damaged.

“One of the LTTE aircraft had flown over the airbase and dropped some explosive items,” airforce spokesman Ajantha Silva said, adding that damage to the military facility was “minor.”

He said air defence systems were acti