June 7, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police detained more than 50 people for questioning following twin bomb attacks blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels that killed 23 civilians, the defence ministry said on Saturday.
The suspects were rounded up near the town of Moratuwa, south of Colombo, where a crowded passenger bus hit a roadside mine during morning rush-hour on Friday, killing 21 civilians, military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said.
“Fifty-one people have been picked up for questioning” in connection with the Moratuwa blast, Nanayakkara told AFP.
Some of those detained were rounded up on Friday night, while the rest were picked up on Saturday, he said.
Sri Lankan newspapers reported many of those taken into custody were Tamil university students who were detained after house-to-house searches.
Police also arrested one person in connection with Friday’s second bus bombing in the central district of Kandy, in which two passengers died, the military spokesman said.
The defence ministry appealed Saturday to the public for help.
“Citizens are advised to be vigilant to unattended packages, bags and electronic items,” the ministry said in a notice published in newspapers and in text messa