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Thread: Tamil Tiger planes 'raid Colombo'

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    Tamil Tiger planes 'raid Colombo'

    Tamil Tiger planes 'raid Colombo'


    At least two planes from Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have attacked the capital, Colombo, officials say, putting the city on full alert.
    An explosion was reported in the city's port area and officials said a government building in the city centre had been hit.
    One plane was shot down near the city international airport, which has been closed officials said.
    The Sri Lankan army had said it had destroyed all the Tigers' runways.
    A witness told BBC's Sinhala service that he had seen something that looked like a plane and then there was a huge explosion near Colombo's fort.
    Other witnesses have told Associated Press news agency that anti-aircraft guns have been firing there and that there had been an explosion.
    Military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said a suspected Tamil Tiger aircraft was spotted north-east of Colombo and the capital's air defences were activated.
    An air force spokesman said jets had been scrambled and were engaging the Tiger aircraft.
    The attack comes as the Sri Lankan army has been pressing the Tamil Tiger rebels into a narrow area of jungle in the north of Sri Lanka.
    Correspondents say the attack amounts to a major embarrassment for Sri Lanka's government, which had claimed to have destroyed all the rebels' hidden runways and put its small air force out of action.
    The Tigers have used light planes in the past to attack Colombo.
    In October 2008, suspected Tamil Tiger rebels carried out air strikes on oil tanks near the capital, Colombo, and in north-western Sri Lanka. Colombo was also targeted in another raid in March 2007. About 70,000 people have died in the last 25 years as the Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland in the north and east of the country.
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