The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched a sea borne suicide attack targeting two merchant vessels Ruhuna and Nimalawa near KKS (Kankasanthurai) at 5AM today (22nd). Three explosive laden boats manned by suicide cadres were engaged in the attack. SLN personnel on board Nimalawa and Ruhuna successfully engaged the suicide boats and destroyed two of them before they could reach their target. One of the destroyed boats exploded near Nimalawa, causing damages to the ship. The other boat engaged in the attack was captured by SLN. According to our information there are no SLN casualties in the incident.
At least 3 suicide cadres are believed to be killed in the attack. Search operations are continuing in the area. Both the targeted vessels were transporting food to the Jaffna peninsula by sea.
LTTE suicide attack on government chartered vessel
Navy says only minor damages have been caused to the Merchant Vessel Nimalawa while MV Ruhuna was completely unharmed. All Sea Tiger cadres who engaged in the attack were killed. No casualties are reported to the Sri Lanka Navy personnel on board the vessels who engaged in a successful counterattack using MPMGs and LMGs.
Search operations are ongoing to locate remains of the Tigers and their equipment. The Navy has also managed to capture one suicide boat while the other two were blasted. It is believed that the suicide boats had been lying in waiting near KKS following the easing of fishing restrictions.
The attack has taken place in the outer harbour area at KKS. All telephone connections in the Jaffna Peninsula was obstructed immediately after the attack. More details will follow as soon as normal connections are restored.