An improvised pipe bomb discovered close to Colombo’s main airport was successfully defused by the Sri Lanka airforce, police said.

A police source told AFP that a “homemade” pipe bomb had been found late Sunday on a road leading towards the main terminal, which remains open with heavy security after Easter Sunday’s deadly bomb attacks.

“It was a homemade bomb, with explosives put into a pipe,” said the source.

Airforce spokesperson Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne said the IED was believed to be locally manufactured.

This comes hours after eight deadly blasts rocked three churches and luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killing at least 290 people.

“It was a crude six-foot pipe bomb that was found by the roadside,” an air force spokesman said. “We have removed it and safely defused it at an air force location.”

There were disruptions to flights, but Sri Lanka’s national carrier Sri Lankan has already asked leaving passengers to report to check-in counters at least four hours prior to departure because of tight security checks at the Bandaranaike International airport.

Police have arrested 24 suspects till now in connection with attacks. However, no group has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s serial blasts.

This was the biggest ever terror attack in the country since the end of the Sri Lankan civil war involving the LTTE and the Sri Lankan military.

Most of the deadly attacks in the past in the country had been carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which ran a military campaign for a separate Tamil homeland for nearly three decades before its collapse in 2009 after the Sri Lankan Army killed its supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

(With inputs from AFP)