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25 killed in Sri Lanka construction storage site blast

From Iqbal Athas, For CNN
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Dozens dead in Sri Lanka blast
  • Road construction workers had gone to collect explosives
  • The blast flattens a nearby police station
  • The cause of the blast is under review
  • Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- An explosion at a construction storage site in eastern Sri Lanka killed 25 people, far fewer than the 70 initially believed dead, the military said Friday.

The blast flattened a nearby police station and among the dead were 16 policemen, said Maj. Gen. Udaya Madawala, a military spokesman. The others killed were civilians, including two Chinese citizens.

The two Chinese were working on a road construction project and had gone to collect explosives to use in their work when the blast occurred, Madawala said.

The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka said it had dispatched officials to investigate the explosion, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The explosion took place in Karadiyanaru in the eastern coastal district of Batticaloa.