(bbc) - At least 24 people have been killed and about 50 wounded by a bombing on a bus in the outskirts of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, officials have said.
The blast happened during rush hour while the bus stopped to pick up passengers in the city's southern suburb of Piliyandala, they added.
A government spokesman blamed the Tamil Tiger rebel group.
Violence in Sri Lanka has intensified since January, when the government pulled out of a ceasefire agreement.
Earlier, the military said its troops had taken control of a church containing the country's most important Roman Catholic shrine.
The shrine lies on the front line in the town of Madhu in the northern Mannar region.
Both sides in the conflict have recently accused each other of shelling the revered complex, and photographs have shown considerable damage.