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Sri Lanka closing airport at night after rebel airstrikes

Sri Lanka closing airport at night after rebel airstrikes

Sri Lanka's only international airport will be closed at night after a series of Tamil Tiger rebel air raids near the capital, an official said Thursday.
The airport will be shut from 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m each day starting May 10, defense ministry spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.
"This is a precautionary measure taken for the safety of the passengers. We have noticed airlines to reschedule their operations and they will accommodate," Rambukwella said.
On Sunday, Tamil rebels flew light aircraft and bombed two fuel facilities near capital, Colombo. The attack did not cause major damage.
In March, the Tamil Tigers targeted an air force base near the airport in their first-ever airstrike since they began fighting for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority in 1983.
The rebels have so far carried out three airstrikes, all at night, flying small planes without lights to avoid detection.
Following Sunday's attacks, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific and Dubai-based Emirates airlines suspended flights to Colombo, but Emirates announced Wednesday it will resume day flights starting Friday.
The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.1 million Tamils, an ethnic minority concentrated in eastern and northern Sri Lanka.
The Tamils have faced decades of discrimination from the Sinhalese, who make up a majority of the Indian Ocean island nation's 19 million people. At least 69,000 people have been killed in the conflict.


Updated : 2021-10-22 18:34 GMT+08:00