Sri Lanka’s flying Tigers strike again

April 24, 2007 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels flying light aircraft bombed Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula Tuesday and launched an artillery attack, killing at least six soldiers, officials and the rebels said. In their second air strike in as many months, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan said two light aircraft were flown over the key Palaly air field 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.

The rebels, whose drawn-out campaign for independence for the ethnic Tamil minority has left more than 60,000 dead, carried out their first air strike on Sri Lankan forces last month using two single-engined, Czech-made training planes.

The first attack saw the guerrillas drop six bombs on the island’s main military air base, which shares a runway with Sri Lanka’s only international airport.

The government insisted the second Tiger attack inflicted little damage.

“The security forces acted promptly, alerted through the air defence systems, and launched a counter air offensive at a suspected aircraft… forcing it to chan