( dpa ) - A minister belonging to the ruling party in Sri Lanka was killed in a claymore mine attack on the outskirts of the capital on Tuesday morning, police said.
Minister of Nation Building DM Dassanayaka was on his way to parliament when he was caught in the claymore mine blast at Ja-Ela, 20 kilometres north of the capital. He died from his wounds after being taken to hospital.
Eleven others were injured in the blast.
Dr Lalani Gunasinghe at the Ragama hospital, where the injured were taken, said the condition of five of the injured was serious.
The location of the blast is on the way to the country's only international airport at Katunayaka, but there was no harm to any passengers heading to the airport.
His security personnel and civilians were among the injured in the blast, police said.
Police blamed the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the attack.
The attack came a week after an opposition parliamentarian T Maheshwaran was gunned down inside a Hindu temple in the capital. The opposition blamed the government for failing to provide enough security.
In parliament opposition MPs strongly protested about the reduction of security protection to opposition MPs.
The government has vowed to crush the Tamil rebels within this year.
On Monday President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on the public to support his efforts to "liberate the northern masses" from the Tamil rebels who control parts of the northern province.
"Kindly grant me the opportunity to liberate the innocent and miserable masses of the north who are in grave and imminent danger at the hands of the LTTE. They are deprived of their basic fundamental rights, facilities and the freedom which people elsewhere in the country enjoy," Rajapaksa told a public rally on Monday.