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Suspected Tamil Rebels Attack Sri Lankan Naval Gunboat, 13 Dead


Officials in Sri Lanka say suspected Tamil Tiger rebels have attacked a naval gunboat off the country's east coast, killing at least 13 sailors.

Military officials say the patrol craft was blown up early today-Saturday near Trincomalee harbor when an explosives-filled fishing boat rammed it. Two of at least 15 sailors on board have been rescued.

The apparent suicide attack comes one day after Sri Lanka's new foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, said his country urgently needs international assistance to spur the Tigers back to peace negotiations.

He told the Associated Press democracy in Sri Lanka is under siege due to the extreme position of the Tigers known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. But he says newly elected President Mahinda Rajapakse is still committed to the peace process.

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