Sri Lankan navy repulses possible rebel attack

Sri Lanka's military prevented a possible Tamil Tiger rebel attack on Colombo's port early Saturday when three suspicious boats were detected and destroyed by air and naval forces, a Defense Ministry official said. The boats did not stop when ordered to do so, forcing the navy to fire at them, said Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse, a senior official at the ministry's media unit. "The navy managed to destroy one of the boats and later the air force came in to help and completed the mission," Rajapakse said. The three suspected rebel boats had entered a "high security zone" where no unauthorized vessels are allowed, Rajapakse said. They were noticed by a guard at a light house who alerted a naval patrol. The first boat was destroyed about 10 kilometers off the coast, one 18 kilometers away, and another 23 kilometers at sea, Rajapakse said, adding that no naval vessels suffered damage.