Raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base

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Raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base
Part of the Sri Lankan Civil War
Date22 October 2007
Result Successful LTTE commando raid
Sri Lanka Air Force

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

One air base garrison 21 suicide commandos
2 light aircraft
Casualties and losses
14 killed, 22 wounded
Aircraft destroyed:
1 Mi-24 attack helicopter,
1 Mi-17 helicopter,
1 K-8 jet trainer,
3 PT-6 trainers,
1 Bell 212 helicopter,
1 Bell 206 helicopter,
1 Beechcraft surveillance plane[1]
Aircraft damaged: 10
20 killed

The Raid on Anuradhapura Air Force Base, code-named Operation Ellaalan,[2] was a successful commando raid conducted on SLAF Anuradhapura an Air Force Base in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The attack happened on 22 October 2007.

At 3:15 AM a group of 21 LTTE commandos, most of them Black Tigers, who are known to be suicide bombers, attacked the air base. Shortly after the attack started the Tigers were supported by two light aircraft from the Air Tigers which conducted a bombing run on the base and escaped undamaged.[3] 10 military personnel, including 2 Air Force officers, were killed in the attack and 22 were wounded. It was confirmed that 20 of the 21 commandos were killed. Also an Air Force Bell 212 helicopter gunship that was sent to the base to provide help crashed near the base during the clashes killing four crew members. Initially it was reported that only three aircraft were destroyed and one crashed. However the Prime Minister stated two days later that up to 8 aircraft were destroyed in the attack and another 10 were damaged, whereas the LTTE claimed to have destroyed 15 aircraft on the day of the attack. Because of this the sincerity of the government came into question.[4][5]

B. Raman, a retired Additional Secretary of India and currently the Director of Institute of Topical Studies of Chennai, released a statement regarding the attack calling that it "had been preceded by painstaking intelligence collection, planning and rehearsal."


  1. ^ "Eight air craft destroyed in Anuradhapura attack - Air Force". Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. ^ "LTTE commandos smash Anuradhapura airbase". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  3. ^ Associated Press (21 October 2007). "13 troops, 20 rebels killed during battle at Sri Lankan air base". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  4. ^ "33 killed in Sri Lanka's air base attack". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  5. ^ "'Eight Lankan planes' destroyed". Retrieved 6 October 2014.