Sri Lanka: Bomb blast close to NCEASL office

General fr 04/06/2008

Dear friends,
Early this morning, there was a bomb attack on a passenger train in Dehiwela, several meters away from the NCEASL office. Latest reports indicate 18 civilians were injured. Please see the CNN report (copied below this e-mail) for your information.
There were no staff members present at the office as it was early in the morning. Some debris from the blast flew on to the office roof but there was no damage caused. The sound of the blast was heard as far away as Nugegoda and Mt. Lavinia.
Military and Police searched the office and other buildings in the vicinity. We took immediate steps to ensure the safety of staff members reporting for work, particularly staff from the Tamil community since there was tension in the area.
This is the second bomb attack on a train on this same track within a space of two weeks.
Please pray for the injured civilians and for the situation in Sri Lanka.
Please also pray very specially for the NCEASL staff.
Thanks and blessings,
Roshini
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Roshini Wickremesinhe
Head of Advocacy & Legal
NCEASL

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Seventeen commuters were injured Wednesday (4th June 2008) when Tamil Tiger rebels tried to blow up a crowded passenger train bringing workers to the capital of Sri Lanka, police said.

A bomb placed on the rail track in the southern suburb of Dehiwala missed the engine and partially hit the first compartment. "A delayed explosion would have caused severe damage," a police official said. The train was headed from the southern town of Panadura, about 17 miles (27 km) away. Police were looking for a Tamil Tiger rebel who they say left behind a bag with a remote-control device. Eyewitnesses told police he ran from the area when the explosion occurred.

A blast on the same track killed nine commuters on May 26.