10/18/2006

BBC: Eyewitness: 'We saw boats explode'

Tamil Tiger rebels have carried out a suicide attack on a naval base in the southern Sri Lankan tourist city of Galle. Eyewitnesses to the attack and the chaotic aftermath describe what they saw..

When we heard the first blast, we didn't know what it was. We immediately ran to get a view of the harbour.

We saw a few boats come into the harbour and explode. The boats we saw were high-speed boats and their explosions were sudden, unexpected and terrifying. There was a massive noise and window panes and other glass shattered.

Everyone ran into buildings close by and watched the harbour from there. There was a thick cloud of black smoke which rose up and covered everything.

There was a navy checkpoint in the water. Many big ships are parked there, there are also fishing boats. The checkpoint checked every boat morning and evening. That was where the first boat exploded. And once that went up, was when the others came racing in.

I think the navy thought this might happen. Earlier this year, I hear they came to people's houses here and asked for our help and told us to be alert.

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Eyewitness: 'We saw boats explode'

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