Sri Lanka sea battle ends with rebels, sailors captured

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Sri Lanka’s navy and Tamil Tigers fought a sea battle off the island’s northwestern coast Thursday with three sailors suspected killed and seven rebels captured, the navy said. Sri Lanka’s navy and Tamil Tigers fought a sea battle off the island’s northwestern coast Thursday with three sailors suspected killed and seven rebels captured, the navy said. Tiger rebels attacked two naval boats off the town of Mannar, sparking an exchange of gunfire, navy spokesman Jayantha Perera said.

“They have taken away three of our sailors and we presume they have been killed,” Perera said adding that a fourth sailor had escaped.

“We have captured seven Tigers during the battle,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from the Tamil Tigers on whether they had killed the three sailors.

The latest battle came one day after at least two soldiers were killed in Sri Lanka’s embattled northern peninsula of Jaffna and security forces recovered three land mines meant for troops.

At least 38 people have been killed in northeast Sri Lanka this month alone, heightening fears about the future of an already fragile ceasefire between government forces and Tamil Tigers.