4TH LEAD (Update)

Naval base in Galle attacked, mob riots in port city

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 03:25 GMT]
A 15-member attack team in five vessels entered the Sri Lankan naval base Dakshina, in the southern most port city Galle attacking four Sri Lankan naval vessels and installations. At least three explosive laden attack vessels, attacked naval crafts including a ship, and destroyed a Fast Attack Craft (FAC) and two water jet inshore patrol vessels anchored in the port base around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to informed defense correspondents in Colombo. Sinhala mob looted around 20 shops owned by Tamils in the JVP stronghold port city.

Naval base in Galle attacked
Smoke from a burning vessel.

8 shops sustained heavy damages.

Tamil civilians have sought refuge at two Hindu temples in Galle. Police said the civilians were safe as the temples were being heavily guarded by the Sri Lankan police and military.

Attackers in two of the five boat flotilla went on shore and launched RPG rocket attacks on naval installations at the Southern Naval Headquarters Dakshina, located 105 km southeast of Colombo.

RPG rocket fire and exchange of gunfire was reported for more than two hours.

A Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) sailor was killed, two were reported missing. 15 SLN sailors and 14 civilians were wounded, police said.

Naval base in Galle attacked
Wounded SLN sailors and civilian employees were admitted at Karapittiya hospital.

Colombo Galle Road has been closed down.

Senior Superindent of Police in Galle, Keerthi de Silva, has clamped down a curfew in the entire district.

Galle, regarded as a JVP stronghold, is one of the three major harbours in the island, with tourist attractions.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Special Task Force (STF) reinforcements were rushed to the naval base.

A view of Galle from the seas.

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