Sri Lankan Minister Assassinated





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Uploaded on Apr 7, 2008

A Highways Minister is the second minister assassinated in Sri Lanka this year. In January the minister for nation building was killed in a roadside blast in the same district as yesterday's attack. Here's more.

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The minister was in the town, 30km outside Colombo, to officiate at a marathon race.

[Nishantha Priyantha, Newspaper Photographer]:
"He came to the starting point of the race and was chatting with the officials and the athletes. As he was about to give the starting signal the explosion took place."

Security forces were quick to pin the blame on the Tamil Tiger rebels, who have been fighting a long-running campaign from their stronghold in the north of the island.

But the Tamil Tigers normally deny any involvement after incidents such as these, and were unavailable for comment.

Government forces stepped up the fighting in the last few years, and their air power and superior numbers have enabled them to retake much of the Tigers' territory.

But the 25-year civil war has killed an estimated 70,000 people.


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