Sri Lanka arrests bomb disposal soldier over school van blast: police

October 3, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police on Saturday arrested a soldier from a bomb disposal unit over the bombing of a school van which killed a student and wounded 12 others, an official said. The soldier was taken into custody following Friday’s attack in Kurunegala, 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of the capital Colombo, a police spokesman said.

“We arrested a soldier who was attached to the bomb disposal squad,” a police official said.

“The attack was over a personal enmity with the owner of the van. We are ready to file formal murder charges.”

The blast went off as the driver attempted to start the van. The device appeared to have been planted under the vehicle and rigged to its ignition.

The blast came five months after government forces declared victory over Tamil Tiger rebels who had been waging a decades-old insurgency for a separate homeland on the island.