Sri Lanka suburb south of capital rocked by blast

Nov 28, 2007 (LBO) – An explosion ripped through a suburb south of the Sri Lanka capital Colombo shortly before 6.00 pm local time, residents said. The explosion occurred at a busy shopping district in the Nugegoda area.

Earlier in the day a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up near the office of a government minister from a rival Tamil group. Authorities believe that the attack was the work of the Tamil Tigers and aimed at Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda, who has survived at least four previous attempts on his life.

Devananda, a vocal opponent of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), once fought alongside the guerrillas before turning to politics in the 1980s.

The minister, leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) — a key ally in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition — escaped unhurt.