Sri Lanka’s navy destroys unidentified vessel

March 18, 2007 (AFP) – A Sri Lankan defence official said the navy sank a ship of the eastern coast Sunday that was believed to be smuggling weapons for Tamil Tiger rebels. There have been increasing clashes between suspected Tamil Tiger ships and the Sri Lankan navy in recent months amid heavy fighting in the island’s northern and eastern regions.

Sri Lankan naval craft shelled the ship after it failed to stop for an inspection, a defence official said, adding the ship was similar to one also destroyed by the navy on February 28 off the island’s southern coast.

“We suspect it was a large boat carrying weapons for the Tigers,” the defence official, who declined to be named, said.