Grenade blast at Katunayake

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 November 1998, 00:05 GMT]
A Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) trooper guarding the runway at Colombo's Katunayake International Airport accidentally fired a rocket-propelled grenade at around 9.00 a.m., shortly before the plane carrying the British Foreign Office Minister Derek Fatchett landed.

SLAF sources said the RPG was fired into the air and caused no damage. The trooper responsible has been arrested for further questioning they added.

Passengers, along with the large number of Air Force men guarding the airport were panicked by the sound of the explosion the sources said.

British Minister Derek Fatchett, who is on a three day visit to Sri Lanka, arrived in Colombo at around 9.45. a.m., a day later than scheduled, as his first flight had to return due to technical problem, said sources. He was to open a British trade fair in Colombo yesterday.

Mr Fatchett is expected to meet the President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the opposition leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Last week a six-member British Parliamentarian delegation also visited Sri Lanka.


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