3RD LEAD (adds details)

Boat explodes, Colombo commercial hub, coastline security tightened

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 June 2006, 04:26 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army officials in Colombo said a suspected LTTE boat exploded near the shore between Pamunugama and Epamulla, 17 km north of Colombo town, around 6:25 a.m. Saturday. State armed forces and the police have tightened security measures along the coastline and the commercial hub of the Colombo city following the arrest of the three persons by the Wattala Police in Panagamuwa area Saturday morning, security sources said.

Three suspects were arrested by the Wattala Police on receipt of information from Panagamuwa residents about sighting of a boat along the shore of the village. Two of them had swallowed cyanide capsule soon after the arrest and were warded in the Ragama general hospital, security sources said. One of them has since died, hospital sources said.

Later the boat had exploded. But some of the occupants of boat had escaped in the meantime, security sources said.

Meanwhile, a bomb disposing squad of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) rushed to the coastal area in Wennapuwa in the Negombo district Saturday morning on receipt of information that two unaccompanied bags were seen along the sea beach, security sources said.

Colombo Police Headquarters has issued a red alert to all three police divisions of the capital city and appealed to the people to inform about suspicious movement of vehicles and characters in their areas immediately, security sources said.

Meanwhile an unidentified person was arrested with an explosive-laden boat in Talawila beach by Kalpitiya police Saturday evening around 6:00 p.m. police said. SLA army bomb disposal unit from Puttalam is at the site to handle the situation, police added.


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