NAVY DESTROYS THREE ARMS CARRYING SHIPS OF THE LTTE 600 NAUTICAL MILES OFF DONDRA HEAD
By Walter Jayawardhana
The Sri Lanka Navy announced that it had destroyed three Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) freight ships carrying heavy loads of arms
and ammunition within a period of twenty four hour successively.
Acccording to intelligence reports of the Navy the the gunrunning vessels
in addition to large stocks of arms and ammunition was also carrying
a bullet proof car for the LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The sinking of the news came with another major defeat for the LTTE
of the arrest of Kumaran Padmanadan (KP) the most successful fugitive
arms procurer of the group in Thailand.
The Navy said the the successive attacks on the LTTE arms smuggling ships, which they claimed as the biggest Naval success so far, occurred during the the twenty four hours ending in the morning of September 11 killing at least 12 to 15 LTTE cadres in each ship.
The Navy said the attacks took place 600 nautical miles or 1200 kilometers
North East of Dondra Head , the island nations southernmost tip,
in the Indian Ocean.
The Navy gun ships , armed with intelligence reports that the ships
were coming were anxiously patrolling in the area , waiting for the
arrival of the contraband carrying ships, the Navy said.
The Ministry of Defense said, The first LTTE ship was detected
around 8 on Monday (September 10) morning. The Navy gun-ships had rounded
up the suspicious ship which had no ensign or name on it and ordered
to identify itself, using the international challenging procedures.
Instead of providing the information to the Navy, the suspicious ship
had opened fire towards the navy ships compelling the sailors to fire
in retaliation, causing the ship to be destroyed around 10.30 a.m.
According to the same sources, later the same day, the Navy detected
two more suspicious vessels in the same waters sailing in the same direction
as the first ship keeping about a 50 Km gap between each other.
The navy said navy gunboats approached the second ship and they were
shot at like previously , compelling them to destroy the freighter around
5.30 in the evening.
The third arms carrying vessel of the LTTE was destroyed after a pursuit.
The Navy said, the third suspicious vessel was first detected around
10 p.m. After five hours of pursuit, the Navy could get sufficiently
close to it. This vessel had fired 120 mm heavy mortars at the approaching
Navy vessels before it was sunk by naval fire around 3 this morning,
the Navy claimed.
Navy Commander Rear Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda said the Navy Intelligence
Department had received information on the LTTE ships about two weeks
earlier, and proactive action were taken by Navy Headquarters to intercept
Speaking to reporters, at a media briefing in Colombo, the Navy Commander
said, with the latest triumph of the Navy, nine out of ten ships believed
to be owned by the LTTE terrorists have been destroyed. The Navy further
said the navy has destroyed six LTTE ships since February of 2007.
The Navy said the present successes were possible due to the enhancement
of their intelligence capabilities.
Navy men examine the ship
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