Sri Lanka minister dies after blast

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Jan 8, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan government minister D.M. Dassanayake died in hospital Tuesday after his convoy was hit by a powerful roadside bomb near the capital, doctors said. The minister for nation building suffered severe head injuries in the attack and died while undergoing surgery, doctor Lalini Gunasekera said.

Police said a fragmentation mine — a device frequently used by Tamil Tiger rebels — was detonated as the minister’s convoy passed the town of Ja-Ela, 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of the capital.

Sri Lankan police and security forces have been on high alert for possible Tamil Tiger bomb attacks after the government announced it was pulling out of a tattered ceasefire agreement with the ethnic rebels.

The Norwegian-brokered truce, which was signed in 2002, officially comes to an end next week.