Sri Lanka Navy gunboat attacked by Tiger suicide craft

COLOMBO, Nov 9, 2006 (AFP) – A heavy sea battle erupted in northern Sri Lanka Thursday after Tamil Tiger rebels staged a suicide attack against a navy gunboat, military sources said. The battle came as the government expressed “regret” over the killing of up to 65 civilians in an attack on suspected Tamil Tiger positions in the island’s restive east on Wednesday. The guerrillas attacked a naval patrol off the Jaffna peninsula using a flotilla of boats packed with explosives, the sources said, adding at least one navy gunboat was “disabled” following the attack.