A sailor who survived Monday s surprise attack on the Navy by two Indian trawlers north of Talaimannar had said that the attackers fired three rounds of rocket propelled grenades and small arms at their ill-fated boat.
According to him, the attackers had opened fire at almost point blank range as their boat responded to distress signals and approached the trawler.
The sole survivor of the seven-man crew, of the locally built boat, had clearly identified the trawlers as that of the Indian fishing fleet. `Otherwise, the crew wouldn t have approached it,` an official said, emphasizing that there was absolutely no dispute that the LTTE were in command of two Indian trawlers.
The sailor who had been moved to Anuradhapura for treatment said that they approached Indian trawlers as they believed one of them was in distress.
The survivor, a gunner had been wounded and was rescued by an SLN boat which had been on patrol when the men on the Indian trawlers called for their assistance.
Although the navy could have pursued the enemy, the top brass decided against it as it would have caused damage to other Indian fishing craft. That was exactly what the LTTE wanted us to do, a Navy spokesman said, asserting that even an accidental attack on Indian trawlers would have had serious repercussions.