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LTTE suicide boat explodes in Mannar

In the gunbattle between the Lankan Navy and the rebels, one LTTE boat exploded, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 20:51 IST

A Tamil Tiger suicide boat exploded south of Mannar and two Sri Lankan Security Forces personnel were killed and several wounded in claymore mine and grenade attacks in Jaffna on Friday.

The explosives-laden LTTE suicide boat exploded during an engagement with the Sri Lankan navy off the Palugahathurai-Palliawatte coast, south of Mannar in the morning.

This area, near the Kalpitiya lagoon, had been the scene of a similar LTTE suicide boat explosion recently.

Later during the day, one police constable was killed and two officers were seriously wounded in a claymore mine attack at Puraporukku, on the Jaffna-Point Pedro Road.

One army soldier was killed, and a soldier and a police constable were wounded in a grenade attack in Urikadu, near Vavettithurai in Jaffna.

The attacks were believed to be in retaliation for the killing of seven Tamil youths by army RPG fire in Jaffna on Thursday.

In Friday's sea engagement, Dvora patrol craft of the navy had spotted two LTTE boats at about 9.15 am. When they wanted to board the boats to investigate, the men on the LTTE craft opened fire with small arms and RPGs. Soon, two other LTTE boats, apparently explosives-packed suicide boats, appeared on the scene.

In the gun battle that ensued, one LTTE boat exploded and the rest sped away and beached at Palugahathurai.

Air Force called in

The LTTE then struck at the naval boats from the beach.

The Sri Lankan Air Force was then called in, and its attack helicopters took on the rebel guns mounted on a truck.

The guns were silenced, Air Force media Group Capt. Ajantha de Silva said.

The Sri Lankan navy suffered no loss, Com Dassanayake said.

First Published: May 05, 2006 16:20 IST