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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report (to 21 Feb 07)

Found here. Highlights include news about the LTTE Tamil Tiger operations at sea:
7. INDIA: The Indian Coast Guard seized a suspected LTTE explosive
laden boat 14 Feb, off the Chennai Coast in the Palk Straits at Kodikarai. Two
Indians and three Sri Lankan nationals who were in the boat were arrested. Arms
such as an AK-56 rifle, five hand grenades, one 24 rounds of AK 56, one explosives
vest weighing around 7.5 KG and some chemicals were found on the laden boat (LM:
8. INDIA: The Indian Navy seized boat carrying explosives 13 Feb, off the
Rameswaram Coast. A boat carrying about 100kg of explosives, which could be
used in making land and sea mines, has been seized by the Indian Navy. The seizure
included IED, fuse wire, steel clips, remote control equipment, steel washers and
aluminum plates, worth several lakhs of rupees, according to police. The boat with
a high-power motor, was en route to Talaimannar from Tuticorin on the evening
of 12 Feb when a naval patrol vessel intercepted it after it tried to speed away
while ignoring signals. Two person on board have been arrested and stated that
Tuticorin based LTTE militants’ agents had requested them to ferry the boat until it
reached LTTE territory (LM:
9. SRI LANKA: The Sri Lankan Coast Guard destroyed a seized LTTE boat
20 Feb, Chennai. The Coast Guard seized the LTTE boat on 13 Feb; at mid sea
after finding that the gap between the fibre sheets of the boat was packed with
gunpowder and could explode at any time. The boat was towed by the Coast
Guard to open water to be blown up. Five persons on board were arrested. During
questioning it was said that the boat was packed with ammunition, which could
be blown up anytime using a hidden switch which was found after a thorough search
of the ship (LM: The Hindu).
10. SRI LANKA: The Sri Lankan Navy destroyed two suspected LTTE boats
15 Feb, Colombo. The boats were hauling hundreds of thousands of steel balls
often used in bombs. Four rebel fighters were believed to be killed. A Navy
spokesman reported that divers retrieved 28 bags filled with the steel balls from
the sunken boats. Also found was an automatic rifle, ammunition and a satellite
phone from the boats. No immediate comment on the sea battle was available
from the LTTE (AP).
11. SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka’s Navy destroyed one suspected LTTE boat and
damaged another 12 Feb before dawn, 25 miles north of Trincomalee. The
Naval patrol along the Eastern coast observed two suspicious boats moving
southwards around 0430 local time. When approached, the suspicious boats
fired upon the navy. The Sri Lankan Navy patrol returned fire and
completely destroying a boat and severely damaging the other. The
boats were equipped with machines guns and 85 horsepower out board
motors. It was unclear how many people were aboard the boats but it is
suspected that at least 10 LTTE members were killed (REUTERS).
12. SRI LANKA: Container ship sustained blast damage 27 Jan, at
0530 local time in position 07:01.38N – 079:39.22E, Colombo Roads.
At 0530, a guard at a lighthouse spotted three vessels in a restricted zone.
According to a military spokesman, as the boats approached Colombo
harbor, they were told to stop, but failed to do so. Meanwhile, as the
container ship (PALAPONESIA PRIDE) was waiting for pilot, the
port control instructed the master to proceed to open sea at full speed.
According to the incident report given to the IMB, these small boats
followed the ship and one of the boats, with two persons onboard, hit
the ship’s hull at starboard quarter and exploded. Another boat continued
to chase the container ship. The master immediately called for port control
assistance. Two naval boats attended and finally destroyed the small boat.
Five doors to accommodation and six empty containers were damaged on
the container ship. According to a military spokesman, the Navy hit one
of the boats six nautical miles from the harbor while the other two were
pursued further out to sea and eventually destroyed. The military spokesman
explained that the containership sustained damage because the small boats
were in close proximity to the vessel when the Navy destroyed them. He
claimed it was clear they were Tamil Tiger boats but that it was too early to
say if it was a suicide attack. He said it was suspected that the attack was
aimed at the nearby Rangala Naval Base (IMB, BBC Sinhala, LM).
Busy little bees, aren't they?

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