Air base bombed

COLOMBO - The Tamil Tigers' air wing bombed a north Sri Lanka air force base before dawn yesterday, the military said, while the Tigers said suicide fighters mounted their biggest ground assault since the two-decade civil war began.

The rebel air strike in the north-central district of Anuradhapura comes months after the Tigers' first ever air attacks using light aircraft smuggled into the country in pieces, and as near daily land, air and sea clashes occur.

Nine servicemen were killed inside the base and 20 others wounded in the attack, while four crew aboard a helicopter gunship, scrambled to search the area, were killed when it crash-landed a few kilometres away, the military announced. - Reuters