April 22, 2019 7:33 am
Updated: April 23, 2019 4:49 pm

Van explodes near Sri Lanka church while police try to defuse bomb: witness

ABOVE: Video captures moment van explodes near Sri Lanka church as police try to defuse bomb.


An explosion went off on Monday in a van near a church in Sri Lanka where scores were killed the previous day, when bomb squad officials were trying to defuse it.

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Police had been inspecting the vehicle at the time, attempting to defuse three bombs that were discovered inside. Instead, the devices exploded, sending bystanders and security forces fleeing for safety.

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No injuries have been reported.

“The van exploded when the bomb defusing unit of the STF (Special Task Force) and air force tried to diffuse the bomb,” a witness told Reuters.

St Anthony’s Shrine was one of the churches targeted in the series of bombings on Easter Sunday.

The attacks, which left nearly 300 people dead, were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath, according to government officials.

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2019 Reuters

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