Bomb blast injures Sri Lankan government minister, 7 others

A Sri Lankan government minister and seven others were wounded Tuesday by a roadside bomb set off by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels outside the capital, local military officials said. D.M. Dassanayake, the nation-building minister of non-Cabinet rank, was in his car when the explosion occurred in the Ja-Ela area, about 20 kilometers north of Colombo, reported military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. "The minister has sustained minor injuries. We have not arrested anybody yet but the suspicion is on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam", said Nanayakkara. Last week, suspected rebels exploded a bomb near a military bus, killing four people - a soldier and three civilian bystanders - in the heart of Colombo, demonstrating their ability to strike even amid heightened security.