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Lankan Air Force destroys suspected LTTE gun-mounted vehicle

By Staff
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Colombo, May 5 (UNI) Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force in a joint operation today destroyed a Sea Tiger boat and a gun-mounted heavy vehicle of the LTTE to counter a Sea Tiger attack on the Sri Lankan Navy off Kalpitiya in the Mannar island, military sources here said.

''The navy's Off-Shore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was fired upon by four LTTE boats this morning in Kuthiraimalai seas off Kalpitiya. The navy retaliated the LTTE fire and destroyed one LTTE boat,'' Military Spokesman, Brig Prasad Samarasinghe said, adding that the other three LTTE boats had withdrawn after the clash.

According to Brig Samarasinghe, following the sea clash the navy called for an air force assistance to counter the LTTE fire from the shores. He said the navy had suspected that the LTTE was firing from a big gun-mounted heavy vehicle from the shore.

''The Air Force assistance was called upon by navy to attack a suspected LTTE heavy vehicle mounted with big gun from which the firing was directed towards the navy off Kalpitiya. The suspected LTTE vehicle was destroyed by the air force gunship helicopter,'' Brig Samarasinghe said.

The casualty details of the LTTE were not known immediately and there was no immediate reaction from the LTTE in this regard, he added.

He said the Navy OPV got ''slightly damaged'' during the clash.

UNI XC KD KN1706

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