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.