Navy says LTTE boats sunk
[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lankan military sources in Trincomalee said today that five boats were believed destroyed and an estimated 13 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) killed, when the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) attacked a group of boats in the seas off Verugal, approximately 65 km north of Batticaloa, last night between 10:30 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.
The sources said that there were five LTTE members in the lead boat and two in each of the other four boats.
The LTTE boats had taken cover behind an outcrop of rock when they were chased, but the SLN was able to destroy them, the sources said.
Loud explosions were heard when the LTTE boats were hit, indicating that they were carrying arms and explosives from Vakarai to Mullaitivu, said the sources.
The LTTE has not made any statement on the incident as yet.
However, in its broadcast tonight, the Voice of Tigers (VOT) radio said that two fishermen were killed and 11 injured at Silavaththai, on the coast off Mullaitivu around 8:30 a.m., this morning when Kfir jets of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) attacked them.
The names of the dead fishermen are: Ponnuthurai Karunakaran (22) and Thambiah Rasaratnam (24), said the broadcast.