Tamil Tiger boats attacked and infiltrated a Sri Lankan naval base on an island off the far northern Jaffna peninsula before dawn on Thursday, and a number of sailors were killed, the military said.
The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam said they killed 35 sailors, but the military dimissed the assertion as propaganda.
"The Tigers have attacked a small naval detachment on Delft island in Jaffna. Less than 10 sailors are dead," Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe. "We didn't even have 35 people there. That's totally false propaganda."