Tigers sink Sri Lankan gunboat

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 October 1998, 05:26 GMT]
The Sea Tigers, the naval unit of the Liberation Tigers, attacked a fleet of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) around 7.30 a.m. this morning in the sea off Mullaithivu, north-east of the island, said sources in the eastern port town of Trincomalee. One Israeli built Dvora Fast Attack Craft (FAC) was sunk and two other FACs were damaged in the sea battle they added.

A Dvora FAC
Unconfirmed reports indicated that more than twenty sailors may have got killed in the fighting. Navy sources in Trincomalee, however, admitted only three sailors were killed in the fighting.

But other SLN officials unofficially acknowledged that more than twenty sailors, including an officer, have been reported missing in the sea battle.

Eight sailors who were wounded in the attack have been brought to the Trincomalee hospital, they added.

Navy sources say the Tigers came in nearly 20 boats and attcked the fleet of 8 Dvoras. They said 30 Tigers were killed and five Tiger boats were destroyed in the fighting which lasted for nearly five hours.

Meanwhile Lanka Muditha, a cargo vessel chartered by the Sri Lankan government to ferry civilians who have been stranded in the peninsula, set sail around 4.30 a.m. in the early hours of the morning today with 525 civilian passengers from northern port of KKS.

However, Sri Lankan Navy sources in Jaffna said that the ship had returned to KKS upon indication that a Naval convoy was under heavy attack.

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