Rebels bomb fuel facilities in Sri Lanka

Tamil Tiger rebels bombed a fuel refinery and gasoline storage facility near the Sri Lankan capital early Sunday, and authorities cut power to the city, officials said. Hours later, the military pounded rebel positions in the north.

Rebels bomb fuel facilities in Sri Lanka
Tamil Tiger rebels bombed a fuel refinery and gasoline storage facility near the Sri Lankan capital early Sunday, and authorities cut power to the city, officials said. Hours later, the military pounded rebel positions in the north.

The rebel attack was the third assault by Tamil Tiger planes since they carried out their first-ever air strike last month when they bombed an air force base near Colombo, killing at least three airmen.

On Sunday, Tiger aircraft dropped four bombs near Colombo, said an official at the defense ministry's media center, speaking on condition of anonymity due to policy.

A soldier who witnessed the rebel attack said he saw a low-flying plane drop two bombs on a gas storage facility in Kerawalapitiya, about 7 miles north of Colombo. The bombs started a fire, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

The extent of damage was not immediately known.

As a security measure, officials knocked out power to the entire capital Sunday, as well as the country's only international airport and an adjoining air force base, as the rebel aircraft approached.

Sri Lanka's separatist conflict flared in 1983 when separatist rebels started fighting for an independent homeland for the country's 3.1 million ethnic minority Tamils, who complain of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

More than 69,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Last Mod: 29 Nisan 2007, 13:59
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