LTTE linked to air crash after 12 years

The crash site in 2000

Two LTTE suspects who are in police custody have revealed that the rebels had shot down an Antonov aircraft in March 2000 over Anuradhapura killing at least 40 people including 4 Russians and that it was not an accident as previously believed, the police media unit said today.

The AN-34 plane had been flying from the Jaffna peninsula to an Air Force base when it crashed and at the time it was believed that engine failure was the cause.

According to the police, two LTTE suspects arrested a few days ago in Kilinochchi, had revealed that in the year 2000 the rebels had fired missiles towards the aircraft.

The LTTE suspects had claimed that the missiles were shot from Wilpattue and the police say they have recovered parts of the missiles used in the attack almost 12 years ago.

Following the revelations the two LTTE suspects were produced before the Anuradhapura Magistrate today and will be produced in court again on 23rd April.

The police Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) is carrying out further investigations. (Colombo Gazette)