Blast wounds nine in Sri Lanka capital
Thu, Jun 24, 2010

COLOMBO - An explosion in a commercial area of Sri Lanka's capital on Thursday wounded nine people, police said, adding that Tamil rebels were not responsible.

"We are ruling out terrorist involvement, the incident was probably due to a personnel vendetta," police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody told AFP.

The blast in the Pettah area of the city was believed to have been caused by a hand grenade or improvised explosive device which went off under an apple stall shortly before dawn as traders prepared to open for business.

Four off-duty soldiers were among the nine people who suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital, a spokesman for the Colombo National Hospital said.

Pettah is known for clashes among rival business interests and underworld gangs.

Police and troops cordoned off the area of the blast and forensic experts examined the damaged stall.

It was the first blast in the centre of Colombo since government troops defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year after decades of bloody civil war.




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