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An eyewitness account
Minsiter was about to flag off marathon…

The Island photographer Nishan S. Priyantha, an eyewitness said the suicide cadre would have triggered the blast from behind Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. The minister was about to flag off the race when the full force of the blast hit him. "I saw body parts of people flying in all directions. It was a gruesome sight," he said, asserting the assassin couldn’t have been among the runners.

Priyantha had been among a group of photojournalists covering the event organised by ‘Marathon Karu’ who had reached Weliweriya at 6.35 am, a few minutes after the minister had left as the organisers hadn’t been ready to start the event. According to him Fernandopulle had come back again at 7. 30 a.m. and got on to the stage where he addressed the gathering for about 10 minutes. Priyantha said the minister praised ‘Marathon Karu’ for organising the event and emphasised the importance of promoting sports in the provinces.

Then he got down from the stage and got ready to flag off the race when the blast ripped through the crowd. According to Priyantha, the minister’s personal photographer who stood between the minister and him had been caught in the blast.

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