New blast near church as Sri Lanka bomb squad tries to defuse device

New blast near church as Sri Lanka bomb squad tries to defuse device New blast near church as Sri Lanka bomb squad tries to defuse device

A new explosion went off on Monday, in a van near a church in Sri Lanka where scores were killed the previous day, when bomb squad officials were trying to defuse it, a Reuters witness said.

"The van exploded when the bomb defusing unit of the STF (Special Task Force) and air force tried to defuse the bomb," the witness said. Reuters footage captured the moment of explosion as seen from a balcony near St. Anthony's Church in the capital, Colombo.

Security force spokesman were not immediately available for comment. Sri Lankan police found 87 bomb detonators at the main bus station in Colombo on Monday, a spokesman said, a day after bombers attacked churches and hotels killing 290 people and wounding about 500.

Sri Lanka said on Monday it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links.

The emergency law, which gives police and the military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders, will go into effect at midnight on Monday, the president's office said.

(Source: Reuters)

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