Indonesian wounded in Sri Lanka ship attack

Jan 22, 2007 (AFP) – An Indonesian chief engineer was wounded in a suspected suicide bombing of a cargo vessel off Sri Lanka’s northern coast, a spokesman for the ship’s owners said Monday. The merchant vessel, the MV City of Liverpool, was attacked off the Jaffna peninsula late Sunday by Tamil Tiger suicide bombers, according to Sri Lanka’s navy, which fought a flotilla of rebel boats.

“We are sending a technical team to repair the ship,” the owner’s spokesman said. “The damage to the hull can be repaired and we will unload 1,400 tonnes of wheat flour today.”

The injured man was sent to a military hospital but his condition was not serious, he said.

The mvessel was unloading wheat flour for some 500,000 civilians living under virtual siege conditions since the only land access to the Jaffna peninsula has been cut off due to fighting since August.

Sri Lanka’s navy said one Tiger suicide craft exploded against the ship while naval craft destroyed two more suicide boats before they could cause any damage.

The damaged ship was towed to port after the attack.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) accused security personnel guarding the Liverpool, whic