The man who played a key role in toppling former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and who handed him over to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague was shot outside the main government building in Belgrade and died after being rushed to a hospital.
Police carrying machine guns stopped traffic in the Serb capital and searched through cars. At least two suspects have been arrested in connection with Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic’s death.
Diplomats in Belgrade say the assassination is related to Mr. Djindjic’s crackdown on corruption and organized crime.
President Bush conveyed his condolences through his spokesman Ari Fleischer.
ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN
Prime Minister Djindjic will be remembered for his role in bringing democracy to Serbia and bringing Mr. Milosevic to justice.
Mr. Djindjic believed the future of Serbia was linked to the West. He had many enemies because the coalition of groups that supported the drive to oust President Milosevic has fallen apart.
And Mr. Djindjic’s efforts to carry out reforms had stalled. The Prime Minister escaped what police believe to have been another attempt on his life last month.
His assassination may mean turbulent days lie ahead for Serbia.