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Five dead, 54 injured in Nittambuwa bus explosion

The ill fated private bus had left the Nittambuwa bus stand around 6 p.m on Friday and was proceeding towards Giriulla when a sudden bomb explosion inside the bus left five persons dead and 54 persons injured. The bus had barely travelled more than one and a half kilometres when the deadly explosion occurred when it reached the 42nd post on to Nittambuwa-Kandy road.

According to Nittambuwa police around 65 passengers were believed to have been in the bus at the time of the explosion. However the bus driver had escaped while the conductor was admitted to the Wathupitiwela hospital with minor injuries, police said.

The three dead have been identified as Mohamed Farook (21) from Kurunegala, P. A. Ajith Kumarasinghe (32) from Dambadeniya, and M. L. Gayan (14) from Mirigama- Kal-Eliya. Two dead bodies are lying at the Wathupitiwela hospital are yet to be identified, a spokesman for the Nittambuwa police said. Of the 19 persons admitted to the Wathupitiwela hospital one person is said to be in a critical condition.

Eleven persons were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital and two are said to be in a critical condition. Eleven persons were admitted to the Gampaha hospital with minor injuries.

Nittambuwa police said that 18 persons living close to the spot where the explosion occurred have been questioned in connection with the explosion. "These persons are outsiders and not from the village, police said.

DIG Colombo North Western Province, D. W. Prathapasinghe told the Sunday Observer that they seek the assistance of the CID and other agencies to track down the perpetrators of the crime. The post-mortem examinations and inquests are being held and several police teams are investigating the explosion, he said.

Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said in a statement that the bomb was planted in the bus to cause death, mayhem and injury to innocent civilian passengers.

 

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