LTTE refutes government claims of destroying arms boats

April 20th, 2008 - 5:15 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, April 20 (IANS) The Tamil Tiger rebels Sunday disputed Sri Lankan Air Force claims that it has bombed and destroyed three arms boats of the Sea Tigers south of Mullaitivu in the north a day earlier. Sri Lanka Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Andy Wijesuriya, based on intelligence provided by the Navy, said: “The supersonic fighter jets bombed and destroyed three arms boats of the Sea Tigers beached south of Mullaitivu lagoon Saturday around 5.40 p.m.”

However, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a statement claimed that the air raid by the Sri Lankan war jets destroyed “fishing boats and newly built tsunami houses”.

“Sri Lankan Air Force bombers dropped bombs in the Silavaththai area in Mullaitivu, injuring two civilians, destroying newly built tsunami homes and causing other damage,” the LTTE statement said.

Claiming that many of the tsunami homes built with the assistance of the German Red Cross have been damaged in the air raid, the LTTE statement said, “More than 20 boats and other fishing equipment belonging to the fishermen of the area” have also been destroyed during the bombing.

Sea Tiger wing is the sea-going arm of the LTTE.

Meanwhile, the defence ministry reported that at least 16 LTTE cadres were killed during sporadic clashes in the north-western Mannar and northern Vavuniya districts Saturday.

It said at least 13 LTTE cadres were killed when the advancing troops backed by armour and artillery bombardment clashed with the rebels ahead of their forward defences in the Mannar battlefront.

It said three more LTTE cadres were killed at Navatkulam area in Vavuniya.

Independent verifications on the battlefront casualties are not possible as journalists are barred from visiting there.

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