The Sri Lankan air force bombed and strafed targets on the Jaffna Peninsula today in what military officials called a new offensive against the northern stronghold of the Tamil Tiger rebels.
Planes dropped leaflets over the peninsula Tuesday announcing an indefinite curfew and warning more than 850,000 civilians to stay out of the line of fire.
The curfew took effect at 6 a.m. local time today, and the planes began bombing runs an hour later, the officials said.
They said the aerial attacks were directed at "identified terrorist targets." The military was accused earlier this year of indiscriminately bombing civilians in Jaffna.
The peninsula, 185 miles northeast of Colombo, is the headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the main guerrilla organization seeking an independent Tamil state in the north and east of this Indian Ocean island.