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Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic Is Assassinated: We'll Go to Belgrade

March 13, 2003
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Serbia is under a state of emergency today following the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

Djindjic was gunned down yesterday morning by unknown assailants in a sniper attack in broad daylight outside a Serbian government building in Belgrade.

Deputy Prime Minister Zarko Korac told Belgrade’s B92 radio today that despite a number of arrests overnight the main suspects behind the assassination of the premier are still on the run. His comments came after the government accused a Belgrade-based criminal gang for the murder and named around 20 of its alleged leaders. Korac said one of the prime suspects is an associate of the state security service.

Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was the chief organizer of the October 2000 democratic revolution that toppled Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. He became Prime Minister when the coalition swept to victory in parliamentary elections in January, 2001.

Djindjic eventually handed over Milosevic to the war crimes tribunal at The Hague in return for $1.2 billion in economic aid.

He had many enemies because of his pro-Western, market-oriented reforms. He pursued a reform program the World Bank called the most 'rigorous' pursued anywhere in post-communist Europe.

Djindjic was often criticized for seeking too much power and for "mercilessly" fighting his rivals. His rivals called him "Little Slobo."

  • Stojan Cerovic, columnist for the Serbian magazine Vreme, which means "Time" in English.
  • Vesna Peric Zimonjic, journalist and reporter for the Independent in London.

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