Tamil Tiger raid a desperate bid to delay defeat: govt

February 21, 2009 (AFP) – A kamikaze-style attack by Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers on the capital Colombo may have been a last ditch attempt by the rebels to delay their defeat after 37 years of fighting, the government said. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) smashed a light aircraft into Colombo’s main tax office late Friday, killing two people and wounding 58, officials said. A second plane crashed near the city’s international airport.

“This is a desperate attack,” said Keheliya Rambukwella, the government’s defence spokesman. “They may be trying to divert attention from their defeats in the north.”

The Tigers’ territory in the northeast of the island has been rapidly shrinking in the past two years as government forces, backed by aircraft, tanks and heavy weapons have carried out their biggest ever military onslaught.

“Very soon, this problem will be over,” Rambukwella said, adding that security forces hoped to completely crush the Tigers “in a matter of days.”

The rebels said two men from their elite “Black Air Tiger” suicide squad had piloted the two light aircraft in Friday’s daring attack.

The pro-rebel Tamilnet.com said the targets were air force facilities in the heart of the capit