4TH LEAD

Attack boats enter Harbour of Colombo, SLN claims destroying 3 boats

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 January 2007, 02:24 GMT]
Three to five attack boats Saturday morning entered the outer harbour waters of Colombo Harbour and launched attacks on Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) vessels. Big explosions were heard, according to the crew members of a cargo ship. SLN claimed to have attacked and destroyed 3 "suspicious boats" moving towards restricted waters off Colombo, around 5:40 a.m. Shock waves from the explosion slightly damaged a Panama registered container vessel PELOPONESIAN PRIDE, approaching the harbour. A search operation was launched by the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) after the explosions, that comes 3 months after an attack on Galle Harbour.

There were unconfirmed reports of four big explosions. Details were not available.

The inner harbour remained closed for a few hours and the Sri Lanka Navy took press reporters on a tour inside the harbour when the inner harbour was opened again.

Five Sinhalese fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy and released later.

No fishing vessels are allowed to come in to restricted zone that stretches approximately 10 nautical miles seaward from the Colombo port.

A statement issued by the Defence Ministry, quoting SL Navy sources said, one boat was destroyed by a SLN fast attack craft 6 nautical miles off Colombo and the other two at a location 11 nautical miles from Colombo.

Land sentries manning the southern perimeters of Colombo harbour detected the boats and informed the Naval Craft at sea, the ministry said.


Chronology:


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