April 24, 2007 (AFP) – Separatist Tamil Tiger rebels flying light aircraft bombed a military airbase on Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula of Jaffna on Tuesday, killing at least six people, officials and the guerrillas said. The government on Monday asked peace broker Norway to put off a visit to rebel-held territory by their ambassador, citing security considerations.
If confirmed it would be the second air attack in two months by the Tigers, although it was denied by the defence ministry who said the rebels only fired artillery.
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Guerrilla spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan said two light aircraft from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) headed toward the Palaly military air field in the Jaffna peninsula just after midnight.
“We have carried out our second air attack… on the Palaly air field and their military stores,” he said by satellite telephone from the north of the island.
Sri Lanka’s army chief Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, in remarks which contradicted the defence ministry, said the aircraft were attacked with ground fire and then changed course to bomb a nearby army detachment.
“Troops at the forward defence lines saw them (Tiger aircraft) coming and alerted the Palaly base, and th