Reported here and here:
The Sri Lanka Navy announced that it had destroyed three Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) freight ships carrying heavy loads of arms and ammunition within a period of twenty four hour successively.
Acccording to intelligence reports of the Navy the the gunrunning vessels in addition to large stocks of arms and ammunition was also carrying a bullet proof car for the LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The sinking of the news came with another major defeat for the LTTE of the arrest of Kumaran Padmanadan (KP) the most successful fugitive arms procurer of the group in Thailand.
The Navy said the the successive attacks on the LTTE arms smuggling ships, which they claimed as the biggest Naval success so far, occurred during the the twenty four hours ending in the morning of September 11 killing at least 12 to 15 LTTE cadres in each ship.
The Navy said the attacks took place 600 nautical miles or 1200 kilometers North East of Dondra Head , the island nation’s southernmost tip, in the Indian Ocean.
The Navy gun ships , armed with intelligence reports that the ships were coming were anxiously patrolling in the area , waiting for the arrival of the contraband carrying ships, the Navy said.
The Navy refused to identify the source of the arms but said they were coming from from the Sourth Eastern direction indicating it is a country in South East Asia.
The Ministry of Defense said, “The first LTTE ship was detected around 8 on Monday (September 10) morning. The Navy gun-ships had rounded up the suspicious ship which had no ensign or name on it and ordered to identify itself, using the international challenging procedures. Instead of providing the information to the Navy, the suspicious ship had opened fire towards the navy ships compelling the sailors to fire in retaliation, causing the ship to be destroyed around 10.30 a.m.”
According to the same sources, later the same day, the Navy detected two more suspicious vessels in the same waters sailing in the same direction as the first ship keeping about a 50 Km gap between each other.
The navy said navy gunboats approached the second ship and they were shot at like previously , compelling them to destroy the freighter around 5.30 in the evening.
The third arms carrying vessel of the LTTE was destroyed after a pursuit. The Navy said, the third suspicious vessel was first detected around 10 p.m. After five hours of pursuit, the Navy could get sufficiently close to it. This vessel had fired 120 mm heavy mortars at the approaching Navy vessels before it was sunk by naval fire around 3 this morning, the Navy claimed.
Navy Commander Rear Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda said the Navy Intelligence Department had received information on the LTTE ships about two weeks earlier, and proactive action were taken by Navy Headquarters to intercept them.
Speaking to reporters, at a media briefing in Colombo, the Navy Commander said, with the latest triumph of the Navy, nine out of ten ships believed to be owned by the LTTE terrorists have been destroyed. The Navy further said the navy has destroyed six LTTE ships since February of 2007.
According to Commander DKP Dassanayake , the spokesman of the Navy, the LTTE ships had been carrying large stocks of military hardware, fuel and a bullet proof vehicle for LTTE's leader V. Prabhakaran. He said, according to the intelligence reports, there were 120mm heavy mortar guns and bombs; stocks of ammunition for 130 mm; 122 mm and 152 mm artillery guns; Spare parts of three light aircraft; one high-speed boat and fuel onboard the ships.