LTTE says it has destroyed two Sri Lankan naval craft
Colombo : The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Wednesday claimed that they had completely destroyed one Sri Lankan naval Fast Attack Craft (FAC) and disabled "beyond repair" a second FAC in more than four hours of fighting off Delft island in north western Sri Lanka.
But the government's Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said that the Sri Lankan navy had destroyed four of the 16 LTTE craft, which confronted a naval flotilla of 12 FACs. One FAC was damaged when two LTTE suicide boats rammed against it, the government said.
The FACs are Israeli made Dvoras. The LTTE uses improvised, indigenously made craft fitted with comparable or even better guns than the Sri Lankan FACs.
The MCNS said that the navy had intercepted the LTTE vessels as they were suspected of smuggling in weapons into the Delft Island, the largest and the most populous island off the Jaffna coast.
There was no fighting on Christmas day, Tuesday, as is the case every year. A Sri Lanka watcher said that the LTTE observes ceasefire on Christmas, as many of its cadres are Christian.
This time, the Catholic Church had asked for a two-day ceasefire, but neither the government nor the Tamil Tigers paid heed to the plea.
Heavy rains have been lashing Sri Lanka's north, disrupting normal life.