20 killed, 40 injured in blast near Colombo (Lead)

June 6th, 2008 - 10:44 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, June 6 (IANS) At least 20 people were killed and 40 injured when a powerful bomb ripped through a packed bus near an university on the outskirts of the Sri Lankan capital Friday, the defence ministry said. The bomb went off at about 7.30 a.m. near the Moratuwa University, about 20 km south of Colombo on the Pilyandala-Kaddupedda road.

“LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam) terrorists exploded a bomb targeting a crowded public transport bus close to the Shailabimbaramaya Buddhist temple at Katubedda, Moratuwa this morning. Twenty people, including 12 men and eight women, have been killed while over 40 are injured,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

“According to the police, the bomb was exploded using a remote controlled device. The bus was travelling from Kottawa to Mount Lavinia,” it added.

Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said police and military teams have been rushed to the blast site to carry out a search operation, while the injured have been sent to hospitals in Kalubowila and Lunawa.

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