Peru's former president Alan Garcia shot himself in the head at his home Wednesday as police were about to arrest him in a sprawling corruption case, his lawyer and hospital officials said.

The 69-year-old Garcia was undergoing surgery for "a bullet wound to his head" at the Casimiro Ulloa Emergency Hospital in Lima, the hospital said.

"This morning there was a regrettable accident: the president took the decision to shoot himself," Erasmo Reyna, Garcia's lawyer, told reporters outside the hospital.

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