Tamil Tiger Planes Destroyed After Bombing Sri Lankan Capital
Originally posted on Bloomberg
Two planes operated by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were shot down by anti-aircraft fire after a raid on Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo, the country’s Ministry of Defense said on its Web site.
At least two people were killed and more than 45 people were hurt when one of the planes crashed into a building housing the Inland Revenue Department, which was “slightly damaged,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.
The other plane was destroyed while trying to escape, and the body of its pilot found near Katunayake air base, about 22 miles (39 kilometers) north of Colombo, the ministry said. Six people were hurt when it crashed.
Sri Lanka shut the island’s only international airport, which shares its runway with the Katunayake base, and diverted flights to India after the attack, Agence France-Presse said, citing an unidentified official.
An estimated 250,000 people have been caught in fighting since January as the army inflicts the worst defeats on the LTTE in the group’s 26-year fight for a separate Tamil homeland in the South Asian island nation.
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