Sri Lanka jets bomb Tiger flotillas: military

April 20, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes bombed a flotilla of fast boats operated by Tamil Tiger rebels off the island’s north-eastern waters, the defence ministry said Sunday. . Aircraft carried out the bombing raid in the seas off Mullaitivu on Saturday evening after spy planes spotted the rebel boat formation, the ministry said in a statement.

“The air raid was successful,” the statement said without giving details.

There was no immediate word from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who are resisting a major military thrust against their de facto mini state in the Wanni, the northern part of the island.

The air strike came as ground battles raged along front lines in the Wanni where the military reported that 28 rebels and one government soldier were killed on Friday alone.

Security forces have killed at least 2,903 rebels since the start of January while 175 government soldiers have died in action during the same period, according to defence ministry figures.

Casualty figures cannot be independently verified as Colombo bars journalists and aid workers from travelling to embattled areas. Both sides are known to offer sharply varying casualty