Sri Lanka claims first kill in air war

Sept 09, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s air force claimed its first kill of a Tamil Tiger aircraft following a guerrilla bombing mission to the frontier town of Vavuniya, in the early hours of Tuesday. The Tamil Tigers are believed to modified operate piston-engined Czech Zlin-143 light aircraft.

In the past Tiger aircraft have slipped under radar and attacked targets in the south of the island including the capital Colombo.

Before the Vavuniya attack, Tiger aircraft raided the eastern Trincomalee naval base. The defence ministry said the Sri Lanka Air Force had detected two aircraft approaching Vavuniya, which is in the border separating areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerillas area around 4.00 am.

Residents reported anti-aircraft fire and explosions with authorities also reporting an artillery attack.

“LTTE attempted to attack the Vavuniya air force base,” Sri Lanka Air Force spokesman Janaka Nanayakkara said.

“We intercepted the aircraft and destroyed one over Mulaitivu.”

Mulaitivu is an area controlled by Tamil Tigers.

Officials said the two jets scrambled from Katunayake air force base, north of Colombo had intercepted the Tig