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Serbian Prime Minister Assassinated - 2003-03-12


Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic has been assassinated in a shooting outside the main government building in central Belgrade.

Officials in the Serbian capital say Mr. Djindjic died at a Belgrade hospital where he had undergone surgery for two gunshot wounds.

Police immediately cordoned off the building where the shooting occurred. Reuters news agency says government ministers immediately gathered inside for an emergency session.

Mr. Djindjic played a leading role in the popular revolt in October 2000 that toppled former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. But disputes over the past year with former Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica had paralyzed efforts to implement much needed economic and social reforms in the country.

The Serbian leader had narrowly escaped injury last month when a truck swerved into the lane in which his motorcade was traveling. Mr. Djindjic later downplayed the incident as one of poor driving. But police continued investigating it as a possible assassination attempt.

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