27 killed in sea clash with LTTE: Sri Lankan military

March 30th, 2009 - 1:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, March 30 (IANS) At least 26 Tamil Tiger guerrillas and a Sri Lankan Navy sailor were killed, and four rebel boats were destroyed in a clash off the coast of Mullaitivu in the island nation’s northeast early Monday, an official said here.
The pre-dawn sea clash erupted when Sri Lankan Navy patrol boats engaged a cluster of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) boats off Chalai and Mullaitivu areas, where the rebels are now confined to a 21 sq km land stretch.

“During the sea confrontation, four LTTE boats were destroyed and 26 LTTE cadres, including a Sea Tiger wing leader Maran, were killed,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told IANS.

He said a naval sailor was also killed and three more wounded in the clash.

The military said that the number of civilians fleeing the rebel-held areas in defiance of LTTE orders was on the rise and over 55,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) have entered government-held areas since the beginning of 2009.

These IDPs are temporarily housed in welfare centres and villages in the northern Vavuniya and Jaffna districts.

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