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Explosion goes off as Sri Lankan police try to defuse bomb near Colombo church

Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP | Security personnel inspect the interior of St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo on April 22, 2019, before the new blast a day after the church was hit in series of bomb blasts in Sri Lanka.

A van parked near a Sri Lankan church has exploded in Colombo on Monday, as bomb squad officials were trying to defuse a new bomb found by the site, police said.

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There was no immediate information on injuries in the blast, or how large it was.

Police went to inspect the van Monday after people reported it had been parked near St. Anthony's Shrine since Sunday. They discovered three bombs that they tried to defuse. Instead, the bombs detonated, sending pedestrians fleeing in panic.

The explosion happened around 50 metres from Colombo's St Anthony's Shrine, one of three churches that had already been targeted in a string of suicide bombs on Sunday that killed nearly 300 people.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS and AFP)

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