VIDEO: LTTE’s Zlin Z-143 aircraft in surprise raid on Colombo

This is some amazing footage from India’s CNN-IBN television news channel, showing one of the two Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) Zlin Z-143 aircraft that took part in a surprise raid on Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

The rebel aircraft apparently approached Colombo around 21.30h on Friday night and were met by anti-aircraft fire. They were brought down, one on top of the country’s Inland Revenue building, killing two people on the ground and injuring more than 40. Both pilots also died in what appears to have been a kamikaze attack.

According to several intelligence sources, the Air Tigers, as the LTTE’s aviation wing is known as, may have only one more Z-143 aircraft left in its fleet. Since 2007, these aircraft have conducted an estimated nine bombing missions, making them one of the few rebel movements in the world with an aviation arm.

Earlier this year, the Sri Lankan troops overran the LTTE’s former strongholds in the country’s Northeast and captured several airfields from which the rebels previously launched air strikes. They also found camouflaged hangars constructed from shipping containers. It is believed that the aircraft that took part in Friday’s attack may have taken off from a national highway.

The Sri Lankan troops had not found any aircraft despite taking over almost all of the area previously controlled by the LTTE, and it is believed that the rebels either may have hidden or buried the aircraft in the jungle. The Z-143s are believed to have been procured by the rebels’ supporters earlier this decade and smuggled into the country after being modified for light attack and bombing missions.


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