COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who 40 years ago became the world's first female prime minister, died of a heart attack Tuesday after voting in Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections. She was 84.
Bandaranaike regained the office for a third time in 1994. But she retired in August to let her daughter, President Chandrika Kumaratunga, appoint a hard-liner to help with the government's 17-year fight against Tamil separatists ahead of the elections.
Bandaranaike voted in her hometown of Attanagalla, 22 miles east of Colombo, and suffered a heart attack in her car on her way home, said government spokeswoman Kusum Rodrigo. She was pronounced dead after being taken to a nursing home.
"I think the entire nation has lost its mother," said Alavi Mowlana, a government minister for local affairs. "I cannot believe that she is no more."
The day also marked the widow's 60th wedding anniversary.
A state funeral will be held Saturday at her ancestral home, Horagolla, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka told a news conference after polls closed Tuesday.
Bandaranaike resigned on Aug. 10, suffering from diabetes and other ailments.
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