Tamil Tiger rebels had clear "inside information" ahead of a devastating attack that virtually wiped out the Sri Lankan government's fleet of spy planes, a report said yesterday.
In a report in the Sunday Times newspaper, defense analyst Iqbal Athas said up to 27 elite rebel fighters were able to stroll into the Anuradhapura base unchallenged before unleashing their assault.
Authorities had previously said the rebels had sneaked into the base by cutting through the barbed wire perimeter.
"Up to 27 Black Tiger suicide cadres were able to go unchecked right up to the aircraft hangar," the report said, adding that the guerrilla strike force had camped at a nearby abandoned house before entering the base.
"There is no doubt that the guerrillas have been receiving up-to-date intelligence on the lay out and goings on at the air base," the report said. "There was inside information."
The report said base security could have been compromised due to the use of casual laborers hired to carry out runway expansion work.
Athas said the government may have also played down the damage inflicted during last Monday's attack.
Officials have said eight aircraft, including a twin-turbo prop Beechcraft plane equipped with advanced surveillance equipment and Israeli-made drones, were destroyed at Anuradhapura.
But Athas said he compiled a list of 27 aircraft at the base, and added that only three of them had been spared.
Defense officials have said they believed 20 Tigers took part in the attack, three of whom were shot dead. The others blew themselves up using explosives strapped to their waists.
Fourteen military personnel killed and another 22 wounded in the attack.
Meanwhile, troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels clashed in in the Muhamalai area of Jaffna Peninsula yesterday, leaving four guerrillas dead, an official at the Defense Ministry information center said. The violence came a day after the military reported killing 11 guerrillas in four separate incidents in Vavuniya district, south of Muhamalai.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
‘CHAPITOS’: An ex-DEA agent said the sons of the former cartel head are engaged in a battle for control, with the health of the man temporarily in charge a factor The fight for control of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s legacy spilled into the open on Thursday after a gun battle between rival Mexican gangs left 16 dead, authorities said. The 16 men, heavily armed and wearing bulletproof vests, died in a six-hour running shootout near the rural town of Tepuche in northwestern Sinaloa province. “A van with seven bodies was located” after an initial clash, while nine bodies were discovered following a second exchange, Sinaloa Minister of Security Cristobal Castaneda told reporters. Castaneda said that Wednesday’s clash near Tepuche, 25km from the capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, was “part of a struggle