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By Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar — A legal adviser for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy was assassinated at a Myanmar airport Sunday after returning from a trip overseas, the government said.

Supreme Court advocate Ko Ni was a longstanding adviser to the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Ministry of Information identified the suspect as Kyi Linn from Mandalay. The motive was not known.

The gunman allegedly made a close shot to the head as Ko Ni walked out of the arrival gate at Yangon's airport, the Ministry of Information said in a video posted on state-run MRTV.

A friend of Ko Ni who witnessed the shooting said the suspected assassin also shot a taxi driver who tried to stop him from fleeing.

"As I stopped my car by the airport, that's where I saw Ko Ni's body lying on the walkway outside of the airport and I couldn't believe that just happened," said Thet Paing Soe, a friend and an NLD supporter. "Then as the shooter tried to run away, the police arrested him."

Aung San Suu Kyi attends a meeting with Department of Archaeology of Nyaung-U.HEIN HTET / EPA

Thet Paing Soe said the taxi driver known as Nay Win stopped the fleeing assassin but was shot. The taxi driver's condition was not clear.

Kyee Myint, a former chairman of the Myanmar Lawyer Network who has a close relationship with Ko Ni, also confirmed his death.

"It is a big loss for us that Ko Ni, our beloved friend, has been killed. He is the face of the democracy in our country and this is a big loss for us," Kyee Myint added.

Ko Ni was a Burmese Muslim and as a practicing lawyer had handled more than 900 criminal cases and more than 1,400 civil cases.

In 1995, he established Laurel Law Firm with two other advocates.