Confusion over firing at sea
[TamilNet, Monday, 16 August 1999, 09:43 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) said that they sighted and engaged two boats of the Sea Tigers in the seas off Pulmoddai, 52 km. north of Trincomalee, in the early hours of the morning today around 3 a.m. However other reports said fishing boats had been fired on.
The SLN said that its gunboats had hit the LTTE craft, which had caught fire.
The SLN said that a fisherman was killed and another injured in the crossfire during the attack. The injured fisherman has been admitted to the Padaviya hospital said the SLN.
However, informed sources in Pulmoddai said that the Navy had opened fire towards the coast where several boats were fishing this morning around 5 a.m.
One fishing boat was hit and two fishermen in it were killed according to the sources.
The body of one of them, burnt by the shell explosion, has been recovered from the sea.
The boat had sunk and the body of the other fisherman in it has not been recovered.
The sources said that an LTTE boat in the sea off the Pulmoddai coast was hit by SLN fire around 7 a.m. It caught fire and sank they added.
They said two fishing boats in the area were damaged by SLN fire around 5 a.m.
The sources in Pulmoddai said that an injured fisherman identified as Hayathu Mohammadhu was rescued by the navy and has been admitted in an unconscious state to the Pulmoddai hospital.
Two fishermen identified as Lafir and Anis are missing.
Muslim fishermen who escaped the shelling in the Pulmoddai sea this morning said that they saw two navy gunboats being hit and damaged by the Sea Tigers in the engagement.