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Troops seize LTTE submarine factory

*Luxury housing complex found in LTTE HSZ
*Foreign assistance for sub manufacture suspected

The LTTE Submarine production plant discovered by the Army

Security forces now on the verge of capturing Mullaitivu yesterday stumbled upon four submarines, the biggest 35 feet in length, and the other three in the process of being built.

A trailer, somewhat resembling a tugboat, was also found in an LTTE factory in Udayankattu.

A machine used for bending thick iron sheets, 15 oxygen cylinders, 3 pedal boats, a large boat, resembling the Navy’s Dvora, that was used in attacks on Navy vessels, some engines of boats, welding plants and electrical equipment were also recovered in yesterday’s operation. A source said that leaving out the submarines, the goods found could hardly be loaded into three large lorries.

Security forces believe that the large submarine and the other three were to be kept ready for the LTTE leaders to escape from Mullaitivu if the need arose.

In the neighbourhood of this factory security forces came across a semi luxury housing complex believed to have been earlier occupied by LTTE top rung leaders. The factory and the housing complex were quite far away from the dwellings of ordinary citizens apparently to keep them from straying into the high security zone of the Tigers. It is believed the factory and housing complex would have been well guarded against any civilian straying into the area.Governmental sources described yesterday’s discoveries as one of the largest and most vital. It is suspected that the construction of machines and buildings captured in Mullaitivu yesterday would have been done with foreign help. "Most probably some members of NGOs may have had a hand in it" a high ranking governmental source said.

Commenting on the discovery of submarines, Navy sources said that they came across a similar submarine during their operations in Vadamarachchi in the late eighties.

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