Colombo mine aimed at politician, says Sri Lanka minister

Aug 22, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police Tuesday discovered a powerful Claymore mine in a crowded Colombo market area as the city hosted thousands of athletes for the South Asian Games. The 15-kilogram (33 pound) device was found rigged up to a vegetable vendor’s bicycle in the Borella district of the city, a police official said.

“We found a bomb on a tip-off. It was about 15 kilos and it could have been set off through a remote-controlled device,” the official said.

Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said they believed the device may have been aimed at a legislator either travelling to or from the parliament building.

Rambukwella, who is also the Policy Planning minister, said the bomb could have been triggered as a legislator passed the area.

“The parliament is meeting today and the bomb could have been aimed at a politician,” Rambukwella told reporters. “If it was not discovered in time, the consequences would have been very serious.”

Police called in the bomb squad to remove the device and sealed off the area, which was not near any venue for the 10th South Asian Games being attended by 4,000 athletes and officials from eight countries.

The governmen