Sri Lanka's military launches air attacks against Tamil Tiger rebel bases

Sri Lanka's military launched new airstrikes against Tamil Tiger rebel bases in the country's northeast Wednesday after nearby navy craft came under attack, the Defense Ministry said.

The latest spasm of violence in Sri Lanka, which has severely endangered the 2002 cease-fire in the country's civil war, began Tuesday when a suspected Tamil suicide bomber targeted the government's top military commander, injuring him and killing eight other people.

The government launched airstrikes on Tamil Tiger-held areas later Tuesday, and the rebels warned of retaliation if the strikes continued.

Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said Wednesday that navy ships came under rebel attack, and that the focus of the latest airstrikes by Sri Lankan air force jets were Tiger bases around the strategic port of Trincomalee.

"Our navy units have come under terrorist attack this morning and we have retaliated," Samarasinghe said, reports the AP.

I.L.