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Accidental Blast Kills 25 in Sri Lanka


Containers filled with explosives accidentally blew up at a police station in eastern Sri Lanka Friday, killing at least 25 people.

Military spokesman Ubaya Medawala had originally said the death toll was more than 60.

The blast occurred at a police depot where the munitions were stored for safe keeping in the small town of Karadiyanaru in the Batticaloa district.

The explosives were intended for road construction being carried out by a Chinese firm. Medawala says the blast occurred as workers were taking out some of the munitions.

The cause of the explosion, which destroyed the station and damaged surrounding buildings, was not immediately known.

Sri Lankan military officials say the majority of those killed were police officers, as well as two Chinese contractors. At least 49 people were injured.

Karadiyanaru is located in an area formerly controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels. They were defeated by government forces in May of last year, ending Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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