Sri Lanka’s foreign minister was shot dead by one or two snipers near his home in the capital Colombo today, officials said.
Lakshman Kadirgamar, 73, was shot in the head and died at the National Hospital where he was taken for surgery.
“There was surgeries done, but the injuries were critical and he has gone,” said Media Minister Dilan Perera.
“The minister had just returned from a swim and was getting inside his home when he was shot,” a police spokesman said.
Kadirgamar was from Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority and was a close aide of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who appointed him foreign minister in April 2004. He previously held the position from 1994 to 2001.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, which comes amid growing tensions between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels amid a surge in violence in the volatile eastern region that has sometimes spilled into Colombo.