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Government: 60 feared killed in Sri Lanka blast

Government: 60 feared killed in Sri Lanka blast

Three containers filled with explosives meant for road construction detonated Friday outside a police station in eastern Sri Lanka, killing as many as 60 people in a blast government officials called an accident.
Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Ubaya Medawala said it was unclear what triggered the blast in the containers, which were stored at the police station in the Batticaloa district for safety reasons.
The explosives, probably dynamite, were for road construction being carried out by a Chinese firm, he said. The dead included police personnel and two Chinese construction workers, he said.
Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said the station suffered significant damage.
Lakshman Hulugalla, a government spokesman, ruled out any possibility of sabotage: "It is an accidental explosion."
The site of the blast, Karadiyanaru, is a small town in the former conflict zone in the east. The government has initiated a major construction drive there to build roads, reservoirs and other infrastructure following the end of the war with the Tamil Tiger rebels last year.
The area was once controlled by the now defeated rebels, who carried out hundreds of bombings against government targets and civilians.


Updated : 2021-10-16 14:24 GMT+08:00