Sri Lanka minister wounded in roadside bomb attack

Jan 8, 2008 (AFP) – A Sri Lankan government minister and six other people were wounded on Tuesday in a powerful roadside bomb attack between the capital Colombo and the island’s international airport, officials said. “Minister of Nation Building, D.M. Dassanayake, was injured in the attack,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told AFP by telephone.

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.

“The minister was on his way to parliament when his vehicle hit the Claymore… his vehicle has been damaged,” Nanayakkara said, adding that those injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital.

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.