COLOMBO, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan authorities on Tuesday said that three fishermen were killed and two were rescued after their boat was attacked by an unidentified group at mid sea.
A local council Minister told Xinhua that the attackers have yet to be identified but it was believed that local fishermen were involved.
The attack has taken place after five fishermen set out to sea from Tangalle, in the south of the country late on Sunday.
Southern Province Minister of Fisheries D.V. Upul said that two navy boats which were patrolling the seas found two fishermen floating in the sea early Monday morning.
He said that the fishermen had revealed that their boat was attacked and three fishermen who were on the boat were killed and dumped into the sea.
The attackers had then hijacked the boat after the other two fishermen had managed to jump into the sea and escape.
Upul said that the fishermen were assaulted and then stabbed with knives. The rescued fishermen were brought ashore on Tuesday.
The Southern Province Minister of Fisheries said that he will be discussing the latest incident with the country's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and will look at ways to ensuring the safety of fishermen who go out to sea.
Last year there were reports of Sri Lankan boats being attacked by Somali pirates who have begun to enter Indian waters.
Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen also clash when they stray into the territorial waters of both countries to catch fish.
Fishing is a big source of income for families living along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka.