June 15, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops have recovered the first submarine believed to have been used by the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said Monday. Troops found the 24-foot (7.2-metre) submersible on the coast of the northeastern district of Mullaittivu, where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were defeated last month, ending decades of ethnic conflict.
“It had reportedly been used by the LTTE, most probably by their senior cadres, for clandestine sea movements before the LTTE was wiped out,” the military said in a statement.
It said several other Tiger submersibles had previously been found, but that the latest device appeared to be the first one that was actually used.
Troops also unearthed the largest haul of weapons and ammunition discovered since the Tiger defeat, the defence ministry said Sunday.
Hundreds of automatic assault rifles, mortar bombs and landmines were found during a two-day search in the north of the island.
A clearing operation is under way in the area where Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed last month.