Bomb defused in Sri Lankan capital

Oct 4, 2006 (AFP) – A powerful Claymore mine was found in a Tamil area of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Wednesday and defused by the bomb disposal squad, police said. More than 60,000 people have been killed in three decades of ethnic bloodshed in Sri Lanka. The mine, weighing 15 kilos (33 pounds), was discovered near a rubbish dump in Colombo’s residential Wellawatte district, police said, adding that an investigation was underway.

The area is known as “Little Jaffna” after the northern stronghold of the island’s minority Tamil community.

The discovery was made as a top Norwegian peace envoy, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, was visiting the capital in a bid to arrange talks between the government and Tamil Tiger guerrillas.

Hanssen-Bauer’s efforts to get the two sides to the peace negotiating table remain inconclusive.

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