Massive assault on Trincomalee Harbour -LTTE
[TamilNet, Monday, 23 October 2000, 16:38 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers said Monday that two Sri Lankan naval vessels were destroyed and two passenger ships were badly damaged in a massive assault on the eastern Trincomalee harbour today. They also said that a Russian built MI24 helicopter gunship, which came to assist the ground troops near Marble Beach, was brought down by an anti-aircraft missile.
Following is the full text of the Press Release:
"Two Sri Lankan naval vessels - a gun boat and a troop carrier - were destroyed another two passenger ships were badly damaged and a Russian built MI24 helicopter gunship was shot down when the Naval Wing of the Liberation Tigers launched a major assault on the strategic Trincomalee harbour today. Scores of naval personnel were killed and injured in the attack.
"Sea Tiger gunboats and Black Sea Tiger assault boats entered the well guarded Trincomalee harbour around 5.30a.m after an intense mortar attack on naval facilities from Marble Beach on the southern side of Trincomalee Bay. A fierce sea battle broke out inside the naval yard. Two Black Sea Tiger assault boats rammed into a gunboat and a troop carrier and both caught fire and sunk. Heavy fighting continued for nearly three hours. Heavy mortar shelling from Marble Beach 15 kilometres southwest of Trincomalee badly damaged two passenger ships inside the harbour.
"Heavy fighting broke out near Marble Beach when the army and the naval units engaged the Sea Tiger commandos unleashing mortar fire on the harbour. Several Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and wounded in the fighting. A Russian built MI24 helicopter gunship, which came to assist the ground troops near Marble Beach, was brought down by an anti-aircraft missile.
"Six Black Tiger commandos were killed in the fighting inside Trincomalee harbour."