Colombo: In a dramatic strike, two light aircraft of the beleaguered LTTE attacked Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Friday night, bombing the Army Headquarters and Sri Lanka’s main tax office leaving at least 38 persons injured.
One plane was shot down and the pilot’s body was recovered near Katunayake, Air force spokesman Janaka Nanayakkara said, as the island nation was put on high alert in the wake of what is being described as a desperate attempt by the Tigers to carry out surprise strikes.
The second aircraft has disappeared off the radar, according to unconfirmed reports late on Friday night.
An explosion was reported in the city’s port area and officials said a government building in the city centre had been hit, officials said, adding two of the 38 injured were in a critical condition.
“Two aircrafts have entered Colombo and dropped at least two bombs near the Army Headquarters ground,” eyewitnesses said.
The attack came even as the Sri Lankan army were pressing the Tamil Tiger rebels into a narrow area of jungle in the north of Sri Lanka.
Following the explosions on the ground, sounds of anti-aircraft guns fire were heard triggering a wave of panic in the city.
Colombo’s International airport was soon closed down following the dramatic air raid which has come as an embrassment to the government which had claimed to have destroyed all the rebels’ hidden runways and rendered its small air wing powerless.