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 Post subject: 15 killed, Minister injured in suicide blast
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:26 pm 
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15 killed, Minister injured in suicide blast

A suicide bomber attacked a gathering of Muslims celebrating a religious holiday in southern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, killing 15 people and critically wounding a government minister, officials said. At least 15 people have been killed and 50 others including Minister Mahinda Wijesekara were injured in suicide attack in Matara.

The bomber appeared to have targeted six ministers as they walked in a procession toward a mosque in the town of Akuressa to celebrate Mawlid, which commemorates the prophet Mohammed's birthday.

Police and bystanders were seen lifting the badly bleeding Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Mahinda Wijesekara into a van. Aruna Jayasekera, a doctor at Matara hospital, said Wijesekera was in critical condition and had been airlifted to the capital for surgery to remove "blood and foreign objects in his brain." Another 41 people wounded in the blast were being treated in Matara, he said. Injured are admitted to the Matara and Karapitiya Hospitals.

Minister Mahinda Wijsekara and former Chief Minister H.G.Sirisena injured in this mornings suicide bomb attack in Akuressa were airlifted to Colombo a shortwhile ago, a hospital spokesman said. Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Mahinda Wijesekara was sent for surgery after being air lifted to a hospital in Colombo.



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