Sri Lanka
LTTE dismantles seized Jordanian ship
May 1, 2007 - 6:25:30 PM

Dubai, May 1 - A company whose ship was hijacked by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers late last year says the vessel is gone for good - the guerrillas have ripped it apart besides stealing its cargo of 14,000 tonnes of Indian rice.

The Jordan Times Tuesday quoted Saeed Suleiman, chairman of the Salam International Transport and Trading Co, as saying that it was no longer possible to recover the Jordanian ship Farah 3, which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - seized in December 2006.

In a statement to Al Rai newspaper, Suleiman said the Tamil Tigers 'had actually dismantled the vessel' and stolen the 14,000 tonnes of Indian rice that was bound for South Africa.

But he said his company would not incur any losses because the vessel was fully insured at $5 million.

The Times said the Tigers, which it described as 'pirates', seized the ship when it drifted into waters close to the rebel-held northeastern Sri Lanka after developing engine trouble. The ship was scheduled to stop in the Sri Lankan port of Colombo for refuelling before continuing to South Africa.

LTTE guerrillas boarded the vessel firing four warning shots and forced the ship's 25 crew to board rebel boats.

The crew, comprising 11 Jordanians, 13 Egyptians and an Iraqi, were held by the Tamil Tigers for several days but were eventually released unharmed.

The International Committee of the Red Cross brought the crew to the Sri Lankan capital from the LTTE hub Kilinochchi in the island's north.

The LTTE is listed as a terrorist group by 32 countries, the Times said.

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