Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers attack as govt holds key local polls

TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka, May 10, 2008 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels sank a naval cargo ship moored in the northeast of Sri Lanka on Saturday, in an attack coinciding with key provincial elections in the east of the island. The guerrillas said their Sea Tiger commandos managed to infiltrate the tightly-guarded port of Trincomalee in the early hours of the morning, hitting the ship as it was being loaded with ammunition destined for government troops.

“Commandos from Kangkai Amaran unit of the Sea Tigers took part in the naval mission in destroying the 80-metre long vessel,” the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said in a statement from their northern mini-state.

The Sri Lankan navy said the “MV Invincible” sank after the underwater explosion, which was heard across the port town. It said no lives were lost in the attack, which was nevertheless an embarrassing breach of security.

The explosion came just hours after a bomb ripped through a crowded cafe in Ampara, also in the island’s east, late on Friday killing 12 people and wounding at least 36. Officials also blamed the LTTE for that attack.

Voting however was underway on Saturday in key eastern province elections that the government hopes will boo