LTTE boat destroyed, four Sea Tigers killed: Sri Lankan Navy

December 28th, 2008 - 11:20 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Dec 28 (IANS) The Sri Lankan Navy Sunday destroyed a suspected logistic supply boat of the Tamil Tigers, killing four Sea Tiger cadres aboard the boat in the northern seas, military sources here said.Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake said the navy’s fast attack craft on routine patrol intercepted “the 16-meter long LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)logistic boat carrying war-like materials 12 nautical miles northeast of Point Pedro around 12.20 a.m. Sunday”.

“We opened heavy fire at the LTTE boat when it attempted to flee upon interception, destroying it completely. We suspect at least four Sea Tiger cadres aboard the boat were killed in this incident,” Commander Dassanayake told IANS Sunday, adding that there was no damage to the navy.

The Sea Tigers is the naval wing of the LTTE.

On Dec 20, the navy had claimed to have destroyed a medium-size arms vessel of the LTTE after a brief pre-dawn sea battle off the northeastern Mullaitivu coast.

Giving more details on the last week’s sea clash, independent Sunday Times newspaper quoting authoritative air force sources reported that the guerrillas had in fact “smuggled in a ship load of supplies through the coastal village of Vellamullivaikal, lying north of Mullaitivu, on Dec 20.

“We have incontrovertible video evidence of the entire unloading operation. They were placed before last Wednesday’s meeting of the National Security Council,” the newspaper has quoted the air force source as saying.

The fresh sea battle came at a time when ground troops have been locked in pitched battles with the rebels in the northern Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts over the past few weeks.

The troops advancing in several directions were said to be operating in the outskirts of LTTE’s political capital, Kilinochchi, lying 350 km north of here.

The Defence Ministry Saturday said that heavy clashes had taken place in the jungle district of Mullaitivu and its suburbs with the LTTE cadres making “desperate attempts to defend their main military bastion” from the advancing troops.

Despite shrinking territories, the LTTE has been putting up heavy resistance against the advancing troops, slowing down the military progress.

The LTTE has been fighting against the Sri Lankan government for a quarter century to carve out a separate state for Tamils in the northern and eastern parts of the island.

Thousands have died in escalating fighting since late 2005.

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