Attack on Galle Harbour

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Attack on Galle Harbour
Part of the Sri Lankan civil war
Date October 18, 2006
Location Galle, Sri Lanka
Result Disputed
Emblem of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka Navy
Commanders and leaders
Commodore Manil Mendis Unknown
Unknown 15 in 5 boats
Casualties and losses

3 Naval vessels damaged 1 sailor and 1 civilian killed, 12 sailors, 14 civilians wounded (according to the Sri Lanka Navy)[1]

3 Naval gun boats destroyed (according to the South Asia Analysis Group) [2]
5 boats (3 exploded), 9+ killed (according to the SL Military)[1]

Attack on Galle Harbour [3] was a suicide attack[1] carried out by 15 Sea Tigers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the commercial Galle Harbour and Sri Lanka Navy base SLNS Dakshina in the tourist town of Galle in southern Sri Lanka.[1]


The Navy claimed that at 7.45 a.m. on the October 18, 2006, five "sea tiger" suicide boats, disguised as fishing boats, the Navy destroyed three suicide boats and the other two approached the Galle harbour and detonated at the entrance. One sailor was killed and 11 were injured. One sailor is missing in action.[4]

The pro-rebel TamilNet claimed that a 15-member team entered Dakshina in five vessels and attacked four Sri Lankan naval vessels and installations. At least three explosive-laden attack vessels attacked naval crafts, including a tsunami damaged sub chaser and destroyed a Fast Attack Craft and two water jet inshore patrol vessels anchored in the port base. However these have not been substantiated or excepted by the Sri Lankan defence ministry.

There are no Sea Tiger bases close by, it is believed attackers must have travelled a long distance to get to Galle. Some of the attackers died in the attack, while others escaped into the town - their fate is unknown while the navy carried out search operations.

The defence ministry said two people had been killed, one of them a sailor. At least 26 others, civilians among them, had been wounded, a statement said.[3]


The Sri Lankan government responded with airstrikes in rebel territory. Commodore Manil Mendis, Commander of the Southern Naval Area was court-martialed and found guilty of two counts of not taking adequate precautions and counter-measures relating to the incident.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Rebel suicide blasts hit Sri Lankan resort". The Guardian. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  2. ^ "WHY LTTE ATTACKED GALLE NAVAL BASE AND HARBOUR?". SouthAsiaAnalysisGroup. 2006-10-19. Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Port hit in S Lanka tourist city". BBC. 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  4. ^ "LTTE attack on Galle repulsed". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Court-martial of Southern Naval Area Commander". Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Court Martialled Navy officer to appeal". Retrieved 7 October 2014.