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Artifact: Apr. 9, 2007

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AD HOC AIR FORCE: Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have developed a jury-rigged bomber capable of flying from jungle hideouts in the north of the island nation to attack government strongholds farther south.

WHERE IT WAS USED: A March 25 nighttime raid on an air-force base adjacent to Colombo International Airport.

WHAT IT MEANS: The group that perfected suicide bombing adds a deadly new wrinkle in its 24-year conflict. The sortie killed three but also disrupted commercial air traffic to Sri Lanka’s main airport.

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