LTTE radar point targeted in night air raid: Sri Lanka


Colombo : A radar installation of the Tamil Tiger rebels was attacked in a night air attack by Russian-built MI-24 gunship helicopters, the Sri Lankan Air Force said Thursday.

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Air Force sources said that the LTTE radar point located in the coast of Nagadevanthurai at Pooneryn was “accurately engaged during the air assault at 10 p.m. Wednesday”.

Pooneryn lies on the western coast of the northern Jaffna peninsula and the LTTE in the past had operated their long-range artillery guns and mortars towards the military targets in the peninsula from there.

There was no immediate reaction from the rebels in this regard.

Meanwhile, defence authorities here said Thursday that at least 13 Tamil Tiger rebels and a government soldier were killed and 28 more wounded on both sides during sporadic clashes across the restive north Wednesday.

The LTTE has been fighting against the Sri Lankan state to carve out a separate state for Tamils in the northern and eastern part of the island for the past three decades.

Over 5,000 people have been killed and several thousands faced displacement due to fresh escalation of violence since December 2005.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is waging a “fight to finish” war with the Tamil Tigers has reiterated his government’s position at the UN General Assembly in New York Wednesday that his ruling coalition “cannot and will not permit undermining of the territorial integrity of the sovereign UN Member State of Sri Lanka and the division of its territory”.

“Our government would only be ready to talk to this illegal armed group (LTTE) when it is ready to commit itself to decommissioning of its illicit weapons and dismantling of its military capability, and return to the democratic fold,” President Rajapaksa, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said in his UN speech.