Four Sea Tigers killed -SLN
[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 January 1999, 12:17 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) in Trincomalee said this morning that its gunboats and Fast Attack Craft on patrol in the seas off Chaalai on the Mullaithivu coast had engaged a Sea Tiger flotilla in the early hours of the morning around 1 a.m. yesterday, January 30, destroying two enemy craft and damaging six.
They said that a fierce mid sea battle had raged for more than four hours in which an SLN Dvora Fast Attack Craft was slightly damaged.
The Sea Tiger flotilla, according to an SLN spokesman, had eventually retreated to the LTTE's harbour at Chaalai.
He said that LTTE transmissions monitored by the SLN indicated that four Tigers, including three majors, were killed in the mid sea battle yesterday.
He said that the SLN had also checked two ships which were in the area at the time of the battle on suspicion that they were carrying cargo for the Tigers.
One was an oil tanker and the other was a merchant cargo ship; and both were cleared by the SLN he said.
Other Sri Lankan defence sources in Colombo, however, said that the one of the ships could have unloaded cargo for the Tigers before it was spotted by the SLN yesterday.