Sri Lanka minister escapes suicide bomb attack

Oct 09, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s agriculture minister Maithripala Sirisena escaped an assassination attempt Thursday when a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up near his vehicle, the defence ministry said. Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera said the minister was unharmed.

The only fatality was the female suicide bomber.

The defence ministry initially said the bomber was a male.

The attack on the minister’s vehicle convoy took place at Pirivena Junction, Boralesgamuwa, south of Colombo around 1.15 pm.

Six people traveling in the minister’s convoy were wounded.

They included deputy minister of agrarian services Siripala Gamalath and agriculture ministry secretary Ranjith Wijethilake.

Witnesses at the scene of the blast said a jeep that was part of the minister’s escort travelling behind his vehicle was damaged.

Broken glass lay scattered around the site while a car had gone off the road.