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Around 70 LTTE rebels may have been killed, wounded in air raid

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, April 19, IRNA
Sri Lanka-LTTE-Air Radi
As part of stepped-up tit-for-tat attacks between the Sri Lankan forces and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, a Lankan air force raid on a Tamil rebel base in the island's north may have killed or wounded as many as 70 guerrillas.

The rebel base "suffered major damage due to our bombing" on Tuesday, said Lt Col Upali Rajapakse of the Defence Ministry's information center, citing visuals taken from the air, a Doordarshan News reported here.

"Generally 60 to 70 (guerrillas) live in such bases and we believe that they have died or (been) wounded due to the bombing and resulting explosions," Rajapakse said.

Air force planes struck the Tiger camp in Vattappalai village in Mullaitivu district, a guerrilla stronghold, he said. Last evening, the air force targeted the rebels' air facility, air force spokesman Group Captain Ajantha Silva told reporters.

The air facility is in Kilinochchi district and reportedly has an air strip. Details of the damage were not immediately available. The air assaults on the rebels continued on Wednesday.

Silva said air force bombers targeted a rebel communication facility in Mullaitivu district.

A rebel camp in Kilinochchi where insurgents had gathered for a meeting of their intelligence officials was also bombed, Silva said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan, speaking today from the insurgents' stronghold of Kilinochchi, denied the government report about the training camp, saying "no training camp was hit."

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