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Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Kadirgamar Assassinated


Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has been fatally shot by unidentified snipers at his tightly guarded residence in the capital, Colombo.

Police say the 73-year-old veteran minister died early Saturday at Colombo's National Hospital, where he was taken for emergency surgery after being shot in the head and the chest after a swim.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, but Sri Lankan authorities blame Tamil Tiger rebels. Mr. Kadirgamar was from the Tamil minority and was a close aide of President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

He led efforts to ban the rebels as a terrorist organization. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed shock and sadness at what he called Mr. Kadirgamar's senseless murder.

Norway's truce monitors described his death as a major setback for Sri Lanka's fragile peace process.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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