Piliyandala bus blast kills 24
PILIYANDALA: Twenty four persons returning home after a hard day’s
work were killed and another 40 including schoolchildren were injured
when a fully packed bus bound to Kahapola was caught in an explosion at
6.45 p.m. at the Piliyandala bus terminal, Police Media Spokesman Senior
DIG N.K. Ilangakoon said.
Police blamed the LTTE for the attack. The bus belonging to Kesbewa
CTB Depot was about to leave Piliyandala
stand when the bomb ripped through it. Over 53 persons were
initially admitted to the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital. Some were in a
“The bus driver who was injured in the incident was admitted to the
Kalubowila ICU,” Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.
According to hospital sources, among the dead were a 12-year-old child
and a Buddhist monk.
Students returning from tuition classes were also caught in this
attack and admitted to the Piliyandala and Kalubowila Teaching
The bus was badly damaged and the buildings in the vicinity were also
partly damaged, Brigadier Nanayakkara said. Several passersby had also
suffered injuries. The area was cordoned off by police and Army and a
search operation commenced.
The Government analyst visited the scene and collected remnants of
the bomb. “It is still early to confirm the type of bomb,” an official
from the Government analyst told the Daily News.
This was the third explosion in a bus this year.
Over 60 mostly pilgrims were killed in Dambulla in an Anuradhapura
bound bus from Kandy in February when a powerful bomb exploded.
Another bomb exploded in a bus in Mount Lavinia, though casualties
were much lower as the driver evacuated passengers after being notified
of a suspicious object by an alert passenger. Meanwhile, the Bomb
Disposal Squad yesterday defused a parcel bomb recovered by the police
in the Pettah on a tip off by an alert citizen.
According to Police spokesman Illangakoon, the bomb weighing 10Kg was
left near a road block at Wolfendhal Road, Pettah.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa
deplored the LTTE bomb attack on a packed bus in Piliyandala
last evening, saying the terrorists had once again resorted
to killing innocent civilians in the face of heavy setbacks
on the battlefield.
President Rajapaksa stated
that the attack clearly showed the terrorists were not ready
to abandon violence and destruction even though the
Government had repeatedly pledged its commitment to peace.
He noted that this was the
latest in a series of indiscriminate attacks aimed at
civilians and called on the public to raise their vigilance
in order to help troops to foil terrorists’ destructive
The President extended his
condolences to the members of the bereaved families and
wished speedy recovery to the injured.