May 5 – (AFP) – A Sri Lankan navy gunboat attacked Tamil Tiger boats off the island’s northwestern waters Friday and destroyed at least one craft, military officials here said. More than 200 people have died in the last month in a series of tit-for-tat attacks between Sri Lankan government and rebel forces despite a ceasefire agreement. The naval craft confronted at least four boats of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) near Kuthirimalai Point off the coastal district of Mannar, the officials said.
“We have sunk one boat, which was most probably carrying a lot of explosives,” a naval official said after reports of rebel gun running in the area where the island’s ethnic conflict simmers.
The confrontation was in the same area where the Tigers sank a naval gunboat by blowing up their own craft as sailors were about to search it in March.
The defence ministry said a navy gunboat had been blown out of the water as it approached a Tamil Tiger vessel off the island’s northwestern coast.