Explosion on outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital kills minister, several more

An explosion on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital killed a government minister and several other people early Sunday, authorities said. Minister of Highways Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was opening a marathon when the blast went off 20 kilometers outside of Colombo, said police spokesman N. Ilangakoon. He died of his injuries in the hospital, said government spokesman Anusha Paltipa, adding that "several others" also were killed, though it was not clear how many. Fernandopulle is the second government minister killed in a bombing this year in Sri Lanka, which has been waging an intensified war against Tamil Tiger rebels. A bomb tore through the car carrying Nation Building Minister D.M. Dassanayake days after the government pulled out of a cease-fire with the rebels.