Assassination of the Prime Minister

      The Serbian government announced that Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic succumbed to injuries sustained on Tuesday, March 12, 2003 at 13:30 CET, following an attack during which he was shot with two bullets in the centre of Belgrade. The assassination was carried out at 12:45 CET outside the Government building. The Premier was rushed to Emergency centre where on admission he showed no signs of consciousness or pulse and medical professionals were unsuccessful at saving his life.

      Immediately after the assassination, the police arrested three persons believed to have been involved in the attack on the Premier, Beta agency learns. According to unofficial information, the attack was carried out by a sniper gunman who shot from a building opposite.

      The Government of Serbia has accused a criminal group known by the name "Zemun gang" for the murder of Serbias Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, as well as for a number of other murders, kidnapping and murder attempts aimed against public and political figures tried on earlier occasions. Among the group members are the former head of a special unit within the Ministry of Interiors, Milorad Lukovic-Legija, and Dejan Milenkovic, recently accused of trying to kill Djindjic with a truck. The assassination of the Premier Zoran Djindjic represents an attempt of this group to cause obstruction of the already commenced fight against organized crime and avoid arrests, the statement announces. The Government assessed that the murder of Djindjic was to be used to stir chaos, fear and the state of lawlessness in the country. Calling upon, and hiding behind, the idea of patriotism they tried to obtain support by some political structures with the aim of avoiding responsibility for perpetrated criminal acts, the announcement emphasized.


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