Bomb placed in
Police investigations have revealed that in order to avoid the claymore mine targeting an Army bus at Slave Island on Wednesday being detected by soldiers carrying out routine searches, the device had been planted near Hotel Nippon a short while before the explosion took place.
Despite routine search operations to check for roadside explosives being carried out by soldiers earlier in the day, investigations revealed the explosion took place after the search was carried out.
The mine weighing about five kgs had been placed in a concrete trough used by the hotel to beautify the place with flower plants.
“We believe that the mine was placed on top of the trough shortly before the explosion and thereafter triggered by a remote controlled device from a side.
Police said that since the road is frequently used by military and Air Force vehicles, regular search operations and patrolling are carried out along the road making it extremely difficult to plant the mine in the mornings. At nights the road is closed to traffic.
At least 39 people including hotel staff have been questioned regarding the explosion, but no arrests have been made in connection with the incident which claimed the lives of three civilians and two soldiers.
One of the soldiers succumbed to his injuries at the Colombo National Hospital on Friday. Nine soldiers and 19 civilians were injured in the blast.
The Slave Island police are carrying out investigations under the direction of the CID.
Meanwhile the report of the Government Analyst is expected within the next few days.