Colombo, Apr. 25:
A blast was heard on Thursday from vacant land behind the magistrates court in the town of Pugoda, 40 km (25 miles) east of the capital Colombo, police and local residents said. There was no immediate report of any casualty.
Police said they were investigating the explosion, which 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.
The curfew which was imposed at 10 PM on Wednesday was lifted at 4 AM on Thursday.
President Maithripala Sirisena has convened an all-party meeting. He would meet religious leaders. Both parleys are to discuss the attacks dubbed as among the five deadliest terrorist attacks carried out since the 9/11 in the US. Meanwhile authorities continued their search operations with the help of army and arrested 16 more suspects.The arrested people were being interrogated at length by investigation sleuths in connection with the country’’s deadliest attack.
Many of the arrested people have suspected links to the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), the group blamed for the bombings. However, the NTJ has not claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks and identified suicide bombers who carried out the devastating blasts.
Authorities have deployed thousands of troops to help police carry out search operations.
Over 5,000 army personnel have been deployed around the country.
“During the last 24 hours, there have been no major incidents. We have deployed over 6,300 troops. This includes 1,000 from the Airforce and 600 from the Navy,” military spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said.
Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the head of the local catholic church, has asked all churches to stop masses until the situation improved, his office said.