A loud blast shook the Sri Lankan capital on Wednesday near a small downmarket hotel, killing four people and wounding 20, a senior hospital official said.
"Twenty people were admitted to hospital with blast wounds. Four people were killed, including two soldiers," said Anil Jasinghe, director of the National Hospital in Colombo.
Police said an army bus had been passing a busy junction the modest Nippon Hotel sits on at the time of the blast. Both the air force and army headquarters are in the same quarter of the city.