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Aerial Attack by the LTTE, 2007 - 2009


February 20: Two LTTE light aircrafts were shot down by the Security Forces in Colombo and Katunayake following an attempt by the outfit to bomb Colombo city. The SLAF spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said following the detection of two LTTE aircrafts by the radar, the air defence system was activated and there was a blackout in Colombo City and suburbs for about an hour after 9.20 pm. However, one of the aircrafts managed to drop a bomb on the Inland Revenue Department injuring at least 50 persons and destroying the building. Two of the injured persons reportedly succumbed to their injuries later. Meanwhile, the aircraft was immediately shot down by the SLAF and its remnants were found in the premises. In addition, Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said another LTTE light aircraft was shot down at Katunayake. He said the dead bodies of the LTTE pilots and the wreckage of the aircraft shot down at Katunayake were recovered. The LTTE last launched an aerial attack on Colombo on October 29, 2008.


October 28: An LTTE aircraft dropped two bombs targeting the Kelanitissa power station in Colombo. However, no casualties were reported. The blast caused a minor fire at the power station which was doused by the fire-fighters. Later, the air defence system in Colombo and suburbs was activated and the electricity supply to the city was suspended as a precautionary measure.

Prior to this incident, an LTTE light aircraft dropped three bombs on the Mannar Army headquarters in Thalladi. However, no damage was caused to the camp or any other military logistics facility in the area.

Sri Lanka Army, meanwhile, reported that one civilian injured in Kelanitissa power plant bombing died of his injuries on October 29-morning. Similarly, three soldiers were injured in the attack in Mannar.

September 9: The Sri Lanka military said that the combined air and artillery attack by LTTE over Vavuniya in the pre-dawn hours killed 21 combatants on both sides. While seven airmen, nine Police constables and one civilian sustained injuries as a result of exchange of heavy fire, the troops recovered 10 bodies of militants, including five female cadres. Simultaneously, two LTTE aircrafts providing support to the artillery attack dropped two bombs which missed their intended target falling on the office area failing to cause much damage. Meanwhile, the SLAF fighter jets which had taken off from Katunayake Air Base intercepted the two fleeing aircrafts and shot one down.

August 26: Using a small aircraft, the LTTE dropped two improvised bombs on Trincomalee naval base at about 9:15 pm (SLST), injuring 10 sailors. Naval sources said the raid caused minor damage and that one bomb out of the two dropped failed to explode.

April 27: An LTTE light aircraft bombed military FDLs in Welioya. "At about 1:35 a.m. they came and dropped three bombs on the Welioya Forward Defence line. Nobody was hurt, and no damage to any property," said Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara.


October 22: Elite army troops of the Special Forces confronted LTTE cadres who infiltrated and carried out a suicide attack on the SLAF base at Anuradhapura and evicted them from the premises killing 20 militants. Nine SF personnel, including two officers, were killed and 20 others wounded in the encounter. Subsequently the LTTE carried out an aerial attack dropping two shells damaging two MI 24 helicopters parked in the hangar. One more BELL-212 helicopter that was to reinforce SLAF fighter craft resisting LTTE air movement had to crash-land at Doramadalawa area, closer to Mihintale, due to a technical fault, killing both pilots and two gunners. This was the first time the outfit had carried out a combined air and ground attack.

April 29: An LTTE aircraft bombed oil and gas storage facilities in and around capital Colombo at 1.45 am. The Defence ministry said the outfit dropped two bombs at the Muthurajawela gas storage facility of Shell and two more at the main oil storage depot at Kolonnawa.

April 24: SFs foiled a LTTE attempt to carry out an aerial attack at the Palaly Air Base in Jaffna. According to the Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General G. A. Chandrasiri, troops detected an aircraft arriving from the South of Jaffna peninsula towards Palaly Air Base at 1.20 am. "The aircraft took the path along the marshy lands in Jaffna where lesser number of troops on duty", he said, adding, troops stationed at the Palaly HSZ opened fire towards the aircraft compelling it to change its path towards Thondamanaru area near the sea. The light aircraft dropped three bombs at Milady area killing six soldiers, he informed. Earlier, the LTTE claimed they carried out their second aerial attack against Government forces targeting the main military complex in Jaffna peninsula using two light aircrafts.

March 26: The LTTE carried out their first ever air attack on the main Sri Lankan Air Force base in Katunayake, killing three air force personnel and injuring 17 others at 12:45 am. A light wing aircraft dropped two bombs near the engineering section of the base. There was no damage to the fighter jets. The Bandaranaike International Airport was closed temporarily as a precaution and few commercials flights were diverted to destinations in India.





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