The police said that the AN-26 aircraft crash, which killed 40 security forces personnel in 2000 in Wilpattu, was due to an LTTE missile attack, although it was initially attributed to a technical failure.
They said that the Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) is to re-open the case of the crash after two suspects arrested by the TID had confessed to shooting down the plane which caused the crash.
The two suspects are to be produced in the Anuradhapura court soon.
The aircraft was chartered by the Air Force to transport troops including soldiers wounded in the fighting. The aircraft crashed within ten minutes of take off after the crew reported engine trouble while flying from Palaly to Anuradhapura.
The suspects had admitted to firing the missile using a shoulder mounted ‘manpad’ from a hideout inside the Wilpattu National Park.
Among those killed were four crew members and 36 security forces personnel. The plane crashed into the Weerawewa area in Anuradhapura.
Police said the two suspects were arrested two weeks ago in Kilinochchi. The capsule from the manpad launcher was recovered by the Army during the last stages of the war.
The two spent capsules of the missiles were found with the markings 2000/03/30 and AN26 written on them. (Supun Dias)