The Special Boat Squadron and the Rapid Action Boat Squadron Arrow Boats engaged what appeared to be an infiltration attempt by the LTTE off Nayaru Lagoon early this morning. The area is a hotbed of Ratha Regiment infiltration units under LTTE’s new overall leader for Weli Oya- Jeyam.
Exact casualties to the LTTE was unclear, although sailors confirm seeing two boats burning and another damaged boat staggering along with the remaining cluster of boats. SLAF helicopter gunships were called in to assist the sailors. The eastern coastal area from Pulmoddai to Nagarkovil is under SBS and RABS protection. As many as 40 RABS boats and smaller SBS boats are deployed in this area full-time.
Military Intelligence has been particularly aware of infiltration and extraction attempts to and from the east using Tamil fishing villages along the Nayaru Lagoon.
Sea tigers suffer setback in Nayaru
Sea tigers, the sea going arm of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suffered a setback yesterday (19th) morning when naval commando units of the SLN engaged a flotilla of sea tiger boats near the seas off Nayaru. A total of 7 LTTE craft were observed by units of the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) who engaged them. The sea battle which started at around 6AM lasted for nearly 1.30 hours. At around 7.15AM SBS units observed two LTTE boats going up in flames. Another sea tiger craft was damaged and this is when the tigers decided to flee. Two Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) MI-24 gunships were deployed to pursue and attack the fleeing LTTE craft. No exact LTTE casualty details are available. Naval units did not suffer any casualties.
Meanwhile at around 9AM yesterday (18th), a group of LTTE cadres towing two large sized sea tiger craft towards the coast were again attacked by the SLAF. Although no exact LTTE casualty details are reported, pilots confirmed accurate hits on the target.
In other news both parties have suffered heavy casualties in battles that raged during the past week. Nearly 30 SLA soldiers have been killed and around 100 more have been wounded in fighting in National front (Muhamalai/Kilali) and Mankulam in the last 4 days alone. The tigers too have lost a number of their experienced fighters however exact LTTE casualty figures are not available as of now.