Sri Lanka President's brother escapes bomb blast
(Reuters) - Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's brother Gothabaya, who is also the island's defense secretary, narrowly escaped a suspected suicide bomb attack in the island's capital on Friday, officials said.
Hospital officials said 14 people were admitted with injuries after the blast, including one seriously, reports Trend.
But the President's office said Gothabaya was unhurt and had gone straight to see his brother after the attack.
"After the explosion, he directly came to the President's office and hugged him," said Sudath Silva, President Rajapakse's official photographer. "The blood on his clothes was that of his security guards."
"The President told him: 'They will never do it'."
The secretary's driver had earlier said he had suffered slight injuries.
The attack comes just days after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they were resuming their independence struggle in what analysts said opened a new chapter in the island's two-decade civil war.
"It looks like a suicide attack, either from a three wheeler or by a motorbike," said a police officer at the scene, refusing to give his name.
A Reuters witness saw a severed head in the back of a pickup truck at the scene of the blast and the wreckage of a three wheeler taxi -- vehicles which have been used in previous bomb attacks blamed on the rebels.
A severed head found at the roadside after blasts is also often the sign of a suicide bombing.
The attack took place outside an upscale Indian restaurant in downtown Colombo, a few hundred meters from the Prime Minister's offices.
Sri Lanka's two-decade civil has killed more than 67,000 civilians, troops and rebel fighters since 1983, around 3,000 of those this year alone.