Terrorist trend=setters Tamil Sea Tigers ram explosive-laden boats into escorts of a troop transport and kill 17 Sri Lankan sailors as set out here:
At least 17 members of the Sri Lankan navy and an unknown number of Tamil Tiger rebels died in a sea-battle on Thursday after separatist suicide attackers rammed explosive-laden motorboats into a naval fast-attack ship, sinking it within minutes.Previous report on the "Sea Tigers" here.
The ship was part of a convoy escorting a troop carrier when it came under attack by a flotilla of 15 fast-moving craft manned by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, according to Commander DKP Dassanayake, the navy spokesman.
The Sri Lankan government said its air force sank five Tamil Tiger boats in retaliation for the rebel attack, which almost succeeded in sinking the troop transporter, which was carrying 710 soldiers.
The most serious escalation of violence since the start of a ceasefire in 2002 has shattered any remaining hopes for a resumption of peace talks and plunged the island into what is now little short of civil war.
"Our monitors saw several Tiger boats attacking the troop transporter and firing," said Helen Olafsdottir of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which oversees the ceasefire. Neither side has given notice of intention to withdraw from the ceasefire, which was signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the former Sri Lankan prime minister, and Velupillai Prabhakaran, the LTTE leader.
It's messy little war.