Mass arrests in Sri Lanka after bomb find

Feb 3, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police on Saturday arrested 266 people on the eve of independence day celebrations in a security roundup after finding a powerful bomb in the capital. Mass arrests in Sri Lanka after Colombo bomb find

ATTENTION – UPDATES with arrests ///

The 2.5-kilo (5.5-pound) was found in a three-wheeler taxi parked in a garage near the R. Premadasa International cricket stadium, where troops are billeted, and defused by explosives experts.

“The police arrested people who could not immediately explain their presence in the area,” said a police official involved in the investigation.

“The discovery (of the bomb) was made following a tip-off” and those arrested were being questioned, added the official, who declined to be identified.

Security was intensified in Colombo to counter possible attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) ahead of independence day celebrations on Sunday.

Tiger guerrillas carried out two suicide bombings, killing more than 20 people ahead of independence day in 1998.

Security forces armed with tough anti-terror laws increased road blocks and random checks the city of 600,000 people and were carrying out sea