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43 Die as Bombs Damage Theater, Buses in Sri Lanka

Associated Press

Bombs blew up two crowded buses in the eastern provincial capital of Trincomalee today, and police said a third bombing occurred outside a movie theater in Colombo. Officials said the death toll was as high as 43 in the explosions.

Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali blamed Tamil terrorists for the bus bombings, and said 40 people died and about 40 more were flown to Colombo hospitals.

Authorities immediately imposed a 12-hour curfew on Trincomalee to prevent reprisal attacks.

One of the buses was headed for Colombo, 160 miles southwest of Trincomalee, and one was headed for Kantalai, about 19 miles south, when the time bombs exploded.

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The security minister said the dead included Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils. But transport officials said most of the dead were believed to be Sinhalese because of their destinations.


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