Blast in town east of Sri Lankan capital, no casualties

New explosion reported in Sri Lanka, country declaring state of emergency. (Courtesy)
An explosion occurred in a town east of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, on Thursday but there were no casualties, a police spokesman said.

Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said police were investigating the blast on empty land behind the magistrate’s court in Pugoda, 40 km (25 miles).

“There was an explosion behind the court, we are investigating,” he said, adding it was not a controlled explosion like other blasts in recent days.

The blast came at a time of high tension in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday suicide bomber attacks on the island state that killed 359 people and wounded about 500.

An explosion occurred in a town east of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, on Thursday but there were no casualties, a police spokesman said.

Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said police were investigating the blast on empty land behind the magistrate’s court in Pugoda, 40 km (25 miles).

“There was an explosion behind the court, we are investigating,” he said, adding it was not a controlled explosion like other blasts in recent days.

The blast came at a time of high tension in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday suicide bomber attacks on the island state that killed 359 people and wounded about 500.

On Wednesday, hundreds of Pakistani Muslims fled the multi-ethnic port an hour north of the capital, Colombo. Crammed into buses organised by community leaders and police, they left fearing for their safety after threats of revenge from locals.

“Because of the bomb blasts and explosions that have taken place here, the local Sri Lankan people have attacked our houses,” Adnan Ali, a Pakistani Muslim, told Reuters as he prepared to board a bus. “Right now we don’t know where we will go.”

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, yet despite Islamic State being a Sunni jihadist group, many of the Muslims fleeing Negombo belong to the Ahmadi community, who had been hounded out of Pakistan years ago after their sect was declared non-Muslim.

The fallout from Sunday’s attacks appears set to render them homeless once more.

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No CasualtiesFresh ExplosionSri LankaReligious Tension