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Explosion at Sri Lankan military camp

(Xinhua)

08:51, September 27, 2011

COLOMBO, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan military on Monday said there was a massive explosion at a weapons storage facility at an army camp in southern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka army spokesman Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi told Xinhua the explosion occurred at the army camp in Weerawila, in southern Sri Lanka.

"The explosion at the weapons armory lasted for nearly two hours. There were no deaths but one person has been injured. We are awaiting further information on the damage it caused to the army camp," the army spokesman said.

The army was quick to rule out sabotage or terrorism over the explosion at the military camp which occurred just over two years after the end of a war against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Brigadier Hapuarachchi said that initial reports indicated that the explosion took place when a group of soldiers had placed some small arms inside the weapons storage facility of the army camp.

The Sri Lankan military has launched a special investigation into the incident and a report will be submitted soon, the army spokesman said.

The Sri Lankan military fought a 30-year war against the Tamil Tigers before finally defeating the rebels in May 2009.

However, despite the defeat of the rebels, Sri Lanka maintains a strong military presence in almost all parts of the country.

Civil rights groups have urged the Sri Lankan government to curtail the military presence in the country especially in the north and east after the government abolished draconian emergency laws recently.

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