Shootout at Lanka Poll Rally, One Dead


Colombo: Unidentified gunmen opened fire at an election campaign rally by Sri Lanka`s finance minister in the capital Friday, killing a woman and wounding at least 12 others, police said.

The attackers sprayed bullets into the crowd just after Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake left the venue, marking the first major violence ahead of the August 17 parliamentary elections.

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"The gunmen travelled in two vehicles and escaped in the same vehicles after the shooting spree," police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told AFP.

"A woman was killed and 12 wounded persons have been admitted to the Colombo National hospital."

Election monitors expressed surprise at the shooting in Colombo, where security is tight and campaigning had been mostly peaceful.