Roadside Bomb Found in Sri Lanka Ahead of Buddhist Procession

August 26, 2007


Source: AOL News

Wire Service: AP

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Sri Lankan police discovered a bomb hidden along a street in a Buddhist holy city on Sunday as thousands of people gathered to celebrate the country's foremost Buddhist festival, an official said.

Police officers conducting a routine search found the 2-kilogram (4.5-pound) bomb hidden in a bag on a street in Kandy, 90 kilometers (55 miles) east of Colombo, a local police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

He said the bomb was found hours before a large Buddhist procession was to march through the city, and accused separatist Tamil Tiger rebels of planting it. Such roadside bombs are frequently used by the rebels.

The 10-day festival is held each year to honor a tooth of Buddha enshrined in the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. The processions include elephants and thousands of dancers and drummers.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels, who are fighting for an independent homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils, who are mostly Hindu.