Sri Lanka sinks three boats, kills a dozen rebels

Sept 28, 2007 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan navy destroyed three Tamil Tiger boats off the island’s northeast coast, killing over a dozen rebels, the defence ministry said Friday. The clashes took place late Thursday when a naval patrol sighted 20 boats off Pulmoddai, near the de facto state the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE), commonly referred to as the Tamil Tigers, runs in the north.

One sailor died and another was injured in the confrontation, the ministry said, adding there was no damage to naval craft.

However, the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com said the “Sea Tigers” destroyed three Sri Lankan Dvora fast attack craft and lost only three men during the five-hour battle.

Tamilnet said the Sri Lankan army also fired artillery shells towards the Sea Tiger cluster of boats from positions along the shoreline. Tens of thousands have died and hundreds of thousands displaced since the ethnic conflict erupted in 1972. The LTTE is fighting for an independent state for minority Tamils.