LTTE 'suicide boat' recovered
after fierce gun-battle: Lanka
Dec 14 (IANS) Sri Lankan ground troops operating in the coastal
forest district of Mullaitivu fought fierce gunbattles with
Tamil Tiger rebels and recovered a "suicide boat"
during a subsequent search, the military said here Sunday.
military authorities said that a fierce gunbattle broke at
Kumulamunai in the rebel heartland of Mullaitivu Saturday
and lasted nearly two hours, and the rebels suffered "heavy
damages" during the confrontation.
sustained minor damages. Troops recovered a boat, to be used
in a suicide attack, during a search operation conducted in
the same area," the military said Sunday, adding that
similar confrontations also took place in the adjoining areas
Sea Tigers, the naval unit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE), used to deploy explosive-laden suicide boats
to strike moving military targets in the northern and eastern
military also said that a group of 18 civilians, including
five women and a four-year-old boy, had fled the LTTE-held
areas and "reached Palampai area controlled by the 59
Division of the army" in the Mullaitivu district Sunday
morning "seeking military protection".
are to be sent to the Internally Displaced Persons' (IDP)
centres after preliminary inquiries," the military said.
Sri Lankan government is determined to capture the rebel-held
districts of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi and the troops advancing
in several directions were said to be operating on the outskirts
of Kilinochchi town, 350 km north of here.
military said that heavy clashes prevailed in the area during
the past few days as the LTTE gave heavy resistance to the
soldiers inching towards the rebels' political capital, Kilinochchi.
Lankan Air Force jets carried out at least nine air raids
throughout Saturday, "targeting LTTE battlefield fortifications"
at Kilinochchi and the adjoining Paranthan areas in support
of the advancing ground troops.
was no immediate reaction from the LTTE, which has been fighting
against the Sri Lankan state to carve out a separate state
for Tamils in the northern and eastern parts of the island
for a quarter century.
have died in escalating fighting since late 2005.