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Serbia Unveils First Monument to Assassinated PM Djindjic

Serbia has inaugurated the first monument honoring reformist prime minister Zoran Djindjic, who was assassinated four years ago in Belgrade.

The two-meter-high statue of Mr. Djindjic was unveiled Wednesday in the southern district of Prokuplje, his father's hometown.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, including Serbian President Boris Tadic and government ministers. It took place on what would have been Mr. Djindjic's 55th birthday.

The statue was designed by a Belgrade artist. It shows the prime minister extending his hand, to symbolize his efforts to modernize Serbia.

Mr. Djindjic took office in 2001 as Serbia's first democratically elected prime minister since World War II. He was shot dead two years later on March 12, 2003 outside the government's headquarters in the capital.

Two former Serbian paramilitary commanders were sentenced to 40 years in prison in May for plotting the murder. Ten accomplices were given prison terms of eight to 35 years.

Mr. Djindjic played a key role in removing Serbia's autocratic president, Slobodan Milosovic, from power in 2000 and transferring him to a United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.