Monday, October 16, 2006

Sri Lankan Navy Sinks Rebel Trawler

Sri Lankan Navy said Sunday that it had sunk a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel boat off the northern seas of Mannar. The Navy's fast attack craft had fired at the suspected boat around 9:15 a.m. local time (0345 GMT) after grenade fire from the boat was targeted at the Navy, said a Navy spokesman. At least four rebel cadres were believed to have died in the attack as the trawler exploded with a huge bang. There was no immediate reaction from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. The incident is the latest in the ongoing clashes between the government troops and the rebels since last Wednesday.Over 130 soldiers were killed with over 400 more injured in last week's battle at northern Jaffna peninsula's Muhamalai forward defense lines. The battles continue amid efforts by the Norwegian peace facilitators to have the two sides meet in Switzerland on Oct. 28 and 29 for face to face talks. The rebel sources say the LTTE decision to attend talks would be conveyed to the Norwegian special envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer on Oct. 19. The Norwegian envoy is due to return to the island next week to make a renewed effort to ensure face to face talks. The international community has brought pressure on both sides to return to the negotiating table ending violence that had cost over 2,000 lives and displaced more than 2,000 civilians since the end of 2005.

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