Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Kadirgamar dead after sniper attack: hospital

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has died in hospital after being shot by a sniper in the capital, hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa told AFP. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has died in hospital after being shot by a sniper in the capital, hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa told AFP. He was pronounced dead after four surgeons struggled to save his life for more than an hour, Soysa said.

Kadirgamar, 73, a close confidante of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, was shot near his tightly-guarded home in Colombo, police sources told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He was rushed to the National Hospital, and he has chest and abdominal injuries,” said the hospital’s director, Doctor Hector Weerasinghe.

The exact circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear, but official sources said Kadirgamar was returning to his private residence in Colombo by car when he was shot.

Kadirgamar, one of the most tightly guarded ministers in the Sri Lankan cabinet, had nearly 100 elite bodyguards deployed to protect him.

Police had said a few days before the shooting that there was a plan to step up his securi