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Minister escapes assassination bid

A Sri Lankan cabinet minister on Thursday escaped an assassination attempt by a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber on the outskirts of Colombo that left one of his guards dead.

world Updated: Oct 09, 2008 15:22 IST

A Sri Lankan cabinet minister on Thursday escaped an assassination attempt by a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber on the outskirts of Colombo that left one of his guards dead.

Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the suicide bomber blew himself up targeting the motorcade of Agricultural Development Minister Maithiripala Sirisena at a traffic junction at Boralasgamuwa, about 10 km east of Colombo, around 1.15 p.m.

"Luckily the minister's vehicle escaped the blast and the minister has escaped unharmed. But one of his security back-up vehicles got caught in the blast. One security person got killed and three were wounded in the blast," Brig. Nanayakkara told IANS.

Minister Sirisena is also the general secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The blast took place barely an hour before the arrival of Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas on a two-day official visit to Colombo.

President Abbas is scheduled to hold talks with Rajapaksa and government ministers.