M A I N   N E W S

2 LTTE militants held, explosives seized
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, May 10
The coastal security wing of the Tamil Nadu police has seized explosives shipment meant for the LTTE and arrested two suspected militants off the coast of Rameswaram, 600 km from here.

Additional director-general of police (coastal security) Jagan Sheshadri said, “During our operations since last night we came across a boat off the Rameswaram coast in the Palk Bay containing chemicals and detonators. Two suspected militants were arrested”. Rameswaram is the closest point in India to Jaffna, the LTTE stronghold in Sri Lanka.

The state police said following stepping up of vigil in the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar, shipment of arms, explosives and contrabands to the LTTE had been curbed and many boats carrying such materials had been seized.

However, according to intelligence sources, the Tamil Tiger rebels have received at least three shipments of military hardware in the recent months. The arms shipments reached the Tigers despite claims by the Sri Lankan Navy that it had destroyed most of the LTTE's arms ships.

The intense use of heavy artillery shells by the LTTE during the recent conflicts with the Sri Lankan army have raised fresh concern within the island nation’s military establishment about the Tigers’ ability to replenish their dwindling armoury.

A recent report stated: “The general impression among the public was that the LTTE had been starved of military supplies since the navy destroyed a fleet of LTTE vessels which functioned as floating armouries for the group. However, recent reports by intelligence agencies suggest otherwise”.

Sri Lanka’s directorate of military intelligence in a report to the country’s national security council mentioned that the LTTE had unloaded three shiploads of arms during the months of February and March. It stated that a shipload of arms had been smuggled in on March 12 and another two vessels had been unloaded by the LTTE sometime in mid-February.



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