Huge haul of explosives recovered in Lanka
Police found 348 sticks of dynamite hidden among a load of coconuts, which were being dispatched to eastern town of Mannar.india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 13:16 IST
Sri Lankan police recovered hundreds of sticks of dynamite from a truck transporting coconuts to the north, where an ethnic Tamil insurgency has raged for over two decades, a police official said on Friday.
The 348 sticks of dynamite were found on Wednesday, hidden among a load of coconuts, which were being dispatched to eastern town of Mannar, 220 kilometers Colombo, local police chief Anil Priyantha said.
Four people, who were in the truck, were arrested and questioned, he said.
"They told us that the cargo was being transported to a Tamil businessman," Priyantha said, adding that the four had also told police the dynamite was for "fishing purposes."
"We cannot accept that, since there is a large quantity of explosives, which is very unusual," Priyantha said. Police, acting on a tip-off, stopped the truck at a roadblock at Kurunegala, a town situated about 95 kilometers northeast of Colombo.
The truck was on its way to Mannar, which had seen violence blamed on the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
It was not immediately known if those arrested or the Tamil businessman were suspected of having links with the rebels, who launched a violent campaign in 1983 for a separate state for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils.