Police suspect grenade in passenger’s bag exploded

Police investigation

Initial police investigations into yesterday’s blast in a private bus proceeding from Jaffna to Diyatalawa have revealed that a grenade carried by one of the passengers exploded.

The blast, which occurred around 5.45 am in Kahagolla, left 19 persons including two women injured. Police said it was not a terrorist attack.

Police have also called in the Government Analyst to investigate and determine the cause of the explosion.

“We will be able to tell you exactly what happened after the Government Analyst concludes his investigation,” Police Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekera said.

The army is also carrying out a separate investigation into the matter, but it is focused more on the plight of soldiers who were affected by the blast, Military Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said. He ruled out a terrorist attack.

Issuing a media release the Army said that a number of passengers travelling in the bus had been transferred to another bus at Bandarawela before the incident happened.

“Among the passengers were seven Army and five Air Force personnel. The condition of two Army personnel is reportedly critical. The injured were rushed to Diyatalawa Hospital.”

A spokesperson at the Diyatalawa base Hospital said two persons who sustained critical injuries and four others had undergone surgeries. “Out of the 19, two were women. Although surgeries on six people have been carried out, no one’s life is in danger.”

(Source: The Island – By Rathindra Kuruwita)