Tamil rebels launch 2nd airstrike in Sri Lanka
Rebels planes operated by the Tamil Tigers bombed government military positions in Northern Sri Lanka Tuesday, in the second ever airstrike used by the rebel group, according to the Associated Press (http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/24/news/lanka.php).
The military said six soldiers were wounded but troops fire caused the plane to retreat before reaching a key base. Tamil Tigers said that their two planes struck both air and storage facilitites. The military said that the rebels only had one plane, and that it was turned around before reaching the base, only bombing a bunker that injured six soldiers. This occured at a base by the Palay peninsula, a base captured by the government in 1995 that is strategically located to rebel strongholds.
This was the second ever air bombing done by the Tigers, the first which took place last month.
Norway's ambassador, who has been working as a mediator between the sides, was asked to leave ethnic Tamil area, leaving some to speculate that an attack might occur.
Norway had helped establish a cease-fire in 2002, but recent months of renewed fighting have taken almost 4,000 lives.
According to the Austrailian Herald Sun, more than 60,000 people have died as a result of the civil unrest (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21616013-5005961,00.html). However, according to this story, both Tamil and government sources said that six soldiers were killed, not wounded.
The Tamil Tigers are believed to be the only rebel group in the world to possess both naval and air capabilities.
I found it surprising that the AP story said that the soldiers were wounded, while the Sun claimed they had died. I don't think it is a matter of when the stories were published. However, since both govt. and rebel forces matched with each other in each story, it makes me wonder where the descrepancy.
I thought the AP story was severely lacking in background. First of all, how big is the Tamil rebel force? How long has this conflict taken place? How did they get planes? What social implications on civilians does this conflict have? The Sun story does a little bit better job answering some of these questions, but to a limited extent. I also didn't like how the Sun story started with four straight quotes from a Tamil Tiger. I thought the part about cricket was funny, but should have been moved to the back. I preferred how the AP balanced the two different perspectives of what happened back-and-forth. The Sun story seemed a little slanted.