Tigers threaten to retaliate over Sri Lanka air attacks

17, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels Saturday warned the government that they will retaliate against air strikes and artillery attacks carried out by security forces amid escalating violence. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they asked peace broker Norway to convey a “strong warning to Colombo of possible retaliation following the provocative aerial bombing.”

The airforce carried out bombings against suspected Tamil Tiger positions Thursday and Friday as a “deterrent” against more attacks following Thursday’s bomb blast on an overcrowded bus in which 64 people were killed.

The LTTE’s political wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan denied they had anything to do with the bus bombing which drew intense international condemnation.

“We categorically deny the accusation that the Tigers attacked the civilian passenger bus,” he said in remarks published in the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website.

“The Tigers were not behind the Claymore attack. I repeat, the Tigers were not behind this brutal act.”

The military has brushed aside rebel denials and carried out air attacks as well as artillery strikes against Tiger positions.

There have been no reports of casualties a