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 Post subject: Navy intercepts booby trapped Tiger coffin
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:01 pm 
Navy intercepts booby trapped Tiger coffin

by Shamindra Ferdinando
@ Sunday island / 12Nov2006


Tigers on Friday (10) deployed sizeable resources to transfer the body of a senior cadre killed in action. They even booby trapped the body in a coffin in case the boat carrying the casket was intercepted by the navy.

The navy claimed that the body of a senior LTTE cadre recovered off Nilaveli following a brief confrontation on Thursday morning had been set to explode.

A senior navy officer said that 64 kgs of plastic explosives of C4 type had been used to booby trap the fast boat which carried the body. Initial inquiries revealed that the booby trapped boat was to be escorted by two explosives-laden craft operated by Black Sea Tigers.

SLN Fast Attack Craft deployed off Nilaveli had swung into action after observing three fast moving boats. "We spotted them off Trincomalee harbour close to Salli Sambultivu," the spokesman said, adding that the persons on board were disguised as fishermen. The FACs had fired at them after they refused to stop for inspection. According to the spokesman, one boat exploded in a massive ball of fire while the remaining craft beached at Salli Sambultivu.

A navy contingent had been sent ashore to investigate. "We knew the possibility of the boats being booby trapped," he said. Army and navy bomb disposal squads had been called to retrieve the coffin which they did after neutralising the bomb.

The military identified the body as of "Colonel" Swarnam’s right hand man identified as 'Arivu' alias Charles. The LTTE placed Trincomalee under Swarnam’s command after "Colonel" Paduman accused of collaborating with Karuna was relieved of Trincomalee command. The military said the slain terrorist was the second-in-command and a key functionary of the LTTE intelligence wing.

Navy headquarters said that the small Sea Tiger flotilla was intercepted as it was moving towards the north. "We believe the LTTE wanted to bury him in the north," the spokesman said.

They would not have taken the trouble to deploy three explosives laden craft for the task if the hierarchy did not demand the transfer.

On recovering the body, the government had contacted the ICRC to transfer the body to the north, the spokesman said.

Well informed sources said the terrorist was killed in a Special Forces operation a few days ago. He is believed to be one of the most senior cadres killed in the East this year. However others said that he was killed in an artillery strike carried out by the army last Wednesday.

An ICRC spokesman said that the body was handed over to them north of Trincomalee yesterday morning. The body would be transported overland to Vavuniya and handed over to the LTTE at Omanthai, he said.

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