Gunmen kill seven in Sri Lanka prison bus shooting

Five prisoners and two wardens were killed after gunmen shot at their prison bus just south of the Sri Lankan capital.

COLOMBO (REUTERS)  – Gunmen opened fire on a prison bus near Colombo on Monday (Feb 27), killing five prisoners and two warders on their way to court in what was believed to be a gangland dispute, officials said.

Thushara Upuldeniya, spokesman for the Prison Department, said an armed gang blocked the bus in Kalutara, 40km south of the capital, transporting the prisoners, who included an underworld figure. 

“All five prisoners and two prison officers died. Nine other officers were admitted to hospital with injuries,” Upuldeniya told Reuters.

Police Spokesman Priyantha Jayakody said investigations had already revealed that the attack was a result of a long-standing dispute between two gangs.

Suspects have been killed by gunmen in Sri Lanka in the past when being taken to court for questioning.