A blast ripped through a private van outside a school in northwestern Sri Lanka today, leaving 12 children, including eight girls, and an elderly person injured.

Police suspect a personal dispute to be the cause of the minor explosion in the van.

The explosion took place when the van owner's son tried to start the vehicle in front of a school in Sumanadasa Mawatha-Kurnegala area around 6.45 a.m local time.

Eight girls, four boys and an elderly person were injured in the explosion, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said.

They were admitted to Kurunegala hospital. All the victims sustained injuries in their legs.

One of the injured was in the intensive care unit of the hospital, the MCNS said.

Police and army bomb disposal teams are investigating.

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