1 Dead, Thousands Evacuated After Blast At Sri Lankan Armory

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One soldier was killed and thousands of people were evacuated after a fire and a series of explosions on Sunday at one of Sri Lanka’s biggest ammunition dumps, where the army stores heavy weapons, officials said.

Explosions at the army camp at Salawa, 20 miles east of the capital, Colombo, continued for more than five hours and were heard more than 7 miles away, local residents said.

The cause was not immediately known and the government ordered an investigation by the police criminal investigation department.

Local television stations showed rocket propelled grenade shells and shrapnel that had landed in the middle of a road.

“The fire started in a small arms store and spread. There were heavy weapons such as artillery shells stored in the proximity but the damage is still unknown,” Sagala Ratnayake, minister of law and order, told media.

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