Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Tamil Tiger rebels have released 25 crew members of a Jordanian ship which drifted into an area dominated by the rebels off the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka, a Red Cross spokesman said. The men, who were in the custody of the rebels since Saturday, were handed over to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the rebel-held Kilinochchi area, 370 kilometres north of the captial.
A Red Cross car carries crew members of a Jordanian cargo ship across the de facto front lines in Sri Lanka's embattled northern town of OmanthaiThe rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) assured that the crew were safe and in good health. The Farah III was sailing from a southern Indian port to Durban in South Africa with 14,000 metric tonnes of rice when the vessel developed a mechanical problem and drifted to the coast off Mullaitivu, 380 kilometres north-east of the capital. There was no immediate information whether the ship could be repaired, but earlier reports said that the rebels were trying to help to repair the vessel. The Sri Lankan Navy could not access the area as it is in rebel-dominated area.