Tamil Tigers sink Sri Lankan naval ship in Trincomalee

May 10th, 2008 - 7:27 am ICT by admin  

By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, May 10 (IANS) A Sri Lankan naval logistic supply vessel was sunk in a powerful pre-dawn underwater sea explosion by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in the heavily-guarded Eastern Trincomalee harbour Saturday, top naval sources said. “One of our logistic supply ships - A520 - birthed at the Ashraff harbour in Trincomalee was blasted and sunk in an underwater sea explosion around 2.15 a.m. There was no damage to the crew members,” Navy Spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake told IANS over the phone early Saturday.

He said that the navy was now engaged in extensive search operation in and around the area.

According to the navy spokesman, the ship was inducted in the Sri Lankan Navy after being apprehended while engaged in human smuggling in 2003.

“We apprehended this ship - MV Invincible - in 2003 off Tangalle in the south with Pakistani nationals while engaged in human smuggling. It was later inducted to the navy after legal proceedings and used as logistic supply vessel,” Commander Dassanayake said.

The Tamil Tiger rebels have claimed responsibility for the ship attack.

“A troop carrier and supply ship of the Sri Lanka Navy, named A-520, was sunk by the Sea Tigers Black Tiger underwater naval commandos in the Trincomalee Harbour at 2.23 a.m.,” the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website quoting rebel sources reported.

“Commandos from Kangkai Amaran unit of the Sea Tigers took part in the Sea Tiger mission,” the LTTE claimed, adding that this ship was also engaged in the naval attacks against the LTTE ships in high seas in 2007.

The ship explosion came barely a few hours before the Eastern province goes to poll to elect a maiden provincial council.

On Friday, at least 11 civilians were killed and 29 wounded in a deadly bomb blast in the Eastern Amaparai district.

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