12 dead in attack on rebel boats near Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's navy destroyed two separatist rebel boats during a pre-dawn clash off the country's east coast Saturday, killing at least 12 insurgents, an official said. The sea clash broke out after the navy spotted a cluster of rebel boats off the coast of the eastern town of Pulmoddai, about 225 kilometers (140 miles) northeast of the capital Colombo, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. The insurgents opened fire and the naval boats retaliated, destroying and sinking two boats and killing 12 rebels, Samarasinghe said. There was no immediate comment from the Tamil Tiger rebels.