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Sri Lanka sinks three rebel boats to foil port attack

Sri Lanka sinks three rebel boats to foil port attack

Sri Lanka's navy attacked and destroyed three Tamil Tiger boats yesterday as the rebels launched their first assault on the main port of Colombo in 10 years, the defense ministry said.
Naval craft blew up one boat after the three were spotted near a restricted zone before chasing and sinking the other two.
Residents reported hearing gunfire near the southern end of the port's high security zone.
Tamil Tigers staged a kamikaze-style seaborne attack against the southern naval port of Galle in October, killing a sailor and a civilian and damaging several naval craft.
Rebels entered the Colombo port in April 1996, damaging foreign ships with rocket-propelled grenades, but the guerrilla craft was blown out of the water by port security men before they could cause major damage.
In July 2001, the Tigers staged an even bigger attack on the island's only international airport near here, destroying six civilian jets on the tarmac and blowing up over a dozen military aircraft parked at the adjoining air base.
Since then, the authorities have clamped tight security on all ports in the island and banned fishing nearby to prevent guerrillas mingling among fishermen to stage attacks.
Police said there was confusion yesterday because authorities had also planned security manoeuvres, with many believing the firing was part of a drill.


Updated : 2021-04-23 17:12 GMT+08:00