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Sri Lanka: 3 sailors, 4 LTTE cadres killed in naval attack
T V Sriram in Colombo | June 11, 2008 13:21 IST
Three Sri Lankan sailors and four Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cadres were killed in a pre-dawn attack by Tamil rebels on a navy outpost in Mannar on Wednesday.
The Tigers claimed that the area was brought under their control for a few hours after they captured arms and military gadgets, including a radar equipment.
"According to the available information, four sea tigers, including their leader Sirimaran, have died in the battle," the Defence Ministry said, adding that three sailors were killed and few others wounded during the confrontation.
It said that the navy outpost at Erukkalampiddi in the Mannar island came under attack at around 2.15 am and that a group of LTTE militants had come in six boats.
The sailors have defended their post effectively causing the militants to wihdraw, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka [Images] Air Force MI 24 helicopters pounded withdrawing sea tiger boats in the Gulf of Mannar, the officials said.
According to the Air Force sources, the air assault was launched around 4.45 am, targeting the boats fleeing towards Veddithalthievu area in North Sri Lanka.
"Defence observers are of the view that the LTTE has carried out this attack with the intention of stopping the people in Wanni from escaping to the cleared areas," the ministry said.