Tigers attack during World Cup final

COLOMBO - Tamil Tiger planes struck fuel depots around Sri Lanka's capital early yesterday, briefly plunging Colombo into darkness and sending cricket fans watching the World Cup final running for cover.

COLOMBO - Tamil Tiger planes struck fuel depots around Sri Lanka's capital early yesterday, briefly plunging Colombo into darkness and sending cricket fans watching the World Cup final running for cover.

As explosions were heard and the night sky lit up with anti-aircraft fire, fans scrambled to leave parks and hotels where giant screens showing Sri Lanka playing Australia in the final in Barbados were switched off.

Officials said a fuel storage tank was destroyed in the raid.

Flights at the island's only international airport were disrupted as the air defence systems kicked in, officials said, adding that one Indian jet was turned back while several departing flights were delayed.

The defence ministry confirmed that the two facilities - one state-owned and the other run by the multinational Shell - were hit by four Tiger bombs, but only two exploded at the Shell depot.

The separatists, who observed an unofficial truce when Sri Lanka played New Zealand in the semifinals, had earlier refused to say if they would hold fire for the final too. - Sapa-AFP

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