Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan navy sinks 3 rebels boats, kills over 20 rebels
Mar 29, 2007 - 10:10:05 PM

Colombo, March 29 - The Sri Lankan navy said Thursday that over 20 rebels were killed Wednesday night as the navy sank three boats of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - in the island's north-eastern coast.

Navy officials said the navy conducting surveillance operations detected about 20 craft of the LTTE off Alampil in the northeastern coast around 8.20 p.m. local time - Wednesday.

The navy's fast attack craft were in action immediately and three armed Tiger craft went down with over 20 sea tigers on board, including at least one senior leader.

In the last 30 days, the navy has destroyed three large LTTE vessels each nearly 75 meters in length and six boats, disrupting the rebel group's logistical support.

The sea battle came two days after the LTTE's predawn air raids on Sri Lanka's major air force base near Colombo.

Three airmen were killed and 16 more were injured Monday in the first aerial attack in the history of the over three-decade-old separatist conflict.

Government troops and LTTE rebels are currently being locked in fierce battles in the island country's north and east.

More than 4,000 people have been killed since Dec 2005 despite a Norwegian-arranged truce in place.

The LTTE has been fighting for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's 12.5 percent Tamil minority since the 1970s.

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