Four injured after suspected LTTE bus bombing in Colombo (Third Lead)

September 16th, 2008 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 16 (IANS) An alert conductor ordered passengers to quickly get off a bus here Tuesday after noticing a suspicious parcel, which later exploded injuring four people, the military authorities said, blaming the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the blast.A huge explosion rocked the bus at Horton Place in the upscale Colombo 7 region around 1.50 p.m.

The Defence Ministry said: “No doubt this explosion marks another LTTE attempt to cause mayhem in the island’s capital targeting innocent civilians, when it is facing fierce assaults by the security forces in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.”

Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said a major disaster was averted when the conductor acted swiftly after observing a suspect parcel in the rear side of the bus.

He said the crowded Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) bus travelling from Mattakkuliya (Colombo north) to Moratuwa (Colombo south) approached the Horton Place roundabout in Colombo 7 area when the conductor noticed the unattended suspicious parcel and informed the emergency police unit.

“The bomb went off inside the bus shortly after the conductor evacuated the passengers from the bus and led the bus to a no-man’s ground in the city around 1.50 p.m.,” Brig. Nanayakkara told IANS.

The bus was badly damaged.

Colombo National Hospital director Hector Weerasinghe said four people were admitted to the hospital with “very minor injuries”.

Police and security force personnel cordoned off the area and were conducting further investigation into the blast.

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