Sri Lanka’s foreign minister assassinated; military blames Tamil rebels
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka’s president declared a state of emergency Saturday, hours after her foreign minister was assassinated at his home. The military blamed the Tamil Tiger rebel group, which the slain official worked to ostracize internationally as a terrorist organization.Lakshman Kadirgamar, 73, was shot in the head and heart about 11 p.m. just after taking a swim at his home. He was rushed to the National Hospital where he died, hours after he delivered a speech to a group of students on international relations.”The minister had just returned from a swim and was getting inside his home when he was shot,” Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando said. He said there were two snipers hiding in buildings near Kadirgamar’s heavily guarded home in the capital’s diplomatic district.Authorities began house-to-house searches in the area and made two arrests at a neighboring house.Early Saturday, President Chandrika Kumaratunga declared a state of emergency. Her spokesman Eric Fernando said the move would “facilitate the investigation process.” The emergency law, used at the height of the conflict between the government and the Tamil Tigers, allows authorities to detain without trial anybody suspected of involvement in terrorist activities.
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