War artist shot by Taleban sniper, says wife

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A WAR artist attached to the British Army has been shot by a Taleban sniper in Afghanistan, his wife said.

Graeme Lothian, 53, was shot in the left arm and hand last weekend, Sameena Shakoor said.

He was brought back to the UK on Wednesday and underwent a third operation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Friday.

Shakoor, a consultant paediatrician, said there was some concern that the left-handed artist, a former soldier who served with the SAS and the Parachute Regiment, would be unable to paint following the injury.

“He was shot by a sniper in Afghanistan last Sunday or Saturday night,” she said. “It went into his left forearm, down the forearm and out through his hand.

“The tragic thing is that he was a fine artist – his painting is his life – and he is left-handed.

“He had fantastic care in Afghanistan and then here, but the worrying thing is that he may not make an adequate enough recovery to go back to his painting.”

She said Lothian had initial surgery in Afghanistan and then more on Wednesday, before the operation to put a plate on to broken bones in his hand. He might need further surgery in future, she added.

Lothian, from Sevenoaks in Kent, works as a postman to supplement his art income.

Shakoor said that initially she was told by an army official that he had suffered a “frag injury” from an explosive, only later finding out he had been shot.

She added that the message saying he had been injured was the first time she had heard from him – because of operation restraints –since he had gone to the country on his fourth tour as an artist.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that a war artist had been shot by “extremists” and been repatriated to the UK.