The sea going arm of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) were locked in a fierce battle off the seas south of Delft for nearly two hours from 12.45PM to 2.30PM today (26th). Both parties have suffered heavy casualties in the firefight with SLN losing 1 Dvora vessel and the sea tigers losing 4 of their attack crafts plus two suicide boats.
The battle erupted when the SLN intercepted a suspicious boat movement south of Delft coastline today noon. SLN craft were soon engaging with 14-16 of LTTE's medium sized attack crafts when two explosive laden suicide boats rammed into one of the Dvoras causing a loud explosion. The Israeli built craft was completely destroyed and all personnel on board are feared killed. Another SLN Dvora sustained damages in the incident but it is said to be in repairable condition. LTTE too has lost four of its attack crafts along with cadres on board. This is in addition to the two suicide boats which rammed against the Dvora. Exact damages to LTTE hardware/personnel is not known as of yet as they have so far maintained radio silence since the battle.
Sea tiger boats retreated towards LTTE controlled waters in Nachchikuda region south of Delft after the two hour long firefight. SLAF MI-24 helicopter gunships too were called to the scene to provide fire support and to aid in rescue missions.
A Dvora is usually manned by 12-16 personnel while a LTTE's medium sized attack craft is manned by 8-12 cadres. A suicide boat usually has two black tigers on board.