POLONNARUWA, Sri Lanka, March 28 (UPI) -- The brother of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena died in the hospital after a man attacked him with an ax during a private dispute, government officials say.
Priyantha Sirisena, 42, was the youngest of President Sirisena's 11 siblings. The father of three sustained severe head wounds when he was attacked by a man with an ax on Thursday in his hometown of Polonnaruwa, 134 miles northeast of Sri Lanka's capital.
The Sri Lankan government said he was "attacked during an altercation with a friend."
The attacker reportedly surrendered to police the same day.
Known locally as "Sand King" due to his ownership of a successful sand mining and building business, Priyantha Sirisena also recently set up a rice milling and distribution business in his home district.
He was flown to Colombo for emergency medical treatment but, despite surgery, died Saturday.
At the time of the attack, President Sirisena was on a four-day trip to China, his first since defeating former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in upset elections in January. Unlike Rajapaksa and other former Sri Lankan leaders, President Sirisena has shrunk his personal security apparatus and has not extended protection to his siblings.