2ND LEAD

Sea Tigers battle navy, complete mission - LTTE

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 September 2006, 10:23 GMT]
A large number of Sea Tiger vessels completed an unspecified mission Sunday night, despite a five hour battle with the Sri Lanka navy (SLN). Liberation Tigers Military Spokesman Irasaiah Ilanthirayan, confirming fierce fighting between 25 boats of a Sea Tiger squadron and more than 20 SLN gunboats in the seas off Pulmoddai, dismissed the SLN claims that it had inflicted "heavy casualties" on the LTTE. Three Sea Tigers were killed. "Sea Tiger squadrons would continue their patrol missions as usual," the military spokesman of the LTTE said.

Military Spokesperson of the Tigers, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan (Marshall)
A reinforced patrol of 25 Sea Tigers boats put to sea Sunday night to undertake a key mission off the island's eastern coast Mr. Ilanthirayan said.

"Heavy fighting ensued in the seas for 5 hours since 9:45 p.m. Sunday," he said.

More than 20 Sri Lankan naval vessels had intercepted the Sea Tiger vessels of equal strength, according to the military spokesman of the Tigers.

Two Sri Lankan vessels were damaged in the clash, he said. A Dvora Fast Attack Craft (FAC) was heavily damaged, according to Ilanthirayan.

Despite international peace efforts, the Sri Lankan militarary was seeking to provoke confrontations, he said.

"Our squadrons will continue patrols as usual," he said.

Earlier, the Sri Lanka Navy had claimed to have sunk 11 Sea Tigers boats and forced the 14 others to withdraw.

"It is believed more than 70 Sea Tigers were killed and many were injured," the Sri Lankan defence ministry said.

 

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