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Serbian party leader killed in Kosovo — reports

Local media reports state the politician was shot dead as he was leaving the party’s building
Oliver Ivanovic

BELGRADE, January 16. /TASS/. Leader of the Civic Initiative SDP Oliver Ivanovic was assassinated on Tuesday in Kosovska Mitrovica, Blic newspaper wrote citing the politician’s lawyer.

"Apparently, he died on the spot. We know now that he received five gunshot wounds. He was immediately sent to hospital and doctors tried to save him, but this was to no avail," his lawyer Nebojsa Vlajic said.

Head of hospital in Kosovska Mitrovica confirmed to Serbia’s state news agency Tanjug that the politician died of wounds. It was impossible to save him as he sustained many wounds to the upper part of his body, he added.

Kosovo’s police confirmed the assassination saying that a search for the attackers is underway.

The assassination occurred when Ivanovic was entering his party’s building.

Crowds of people have started gathering outside the building and the hospital and police are blocking the neighboring areas.

In the wake of the killing, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic convened an emergency meeting of the country’s Security Council. Marko Duric, who heads the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, said the Serb delegation was suspending its technical dialogue with Pristina in Brussels and returning to Belgrade.

Oliver Ivanovic, one of leaders of Kosovo Serbs, earlier served as the State Secretary of the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija in the Serb government. In January 2016, he was sentenced to 9 years in jail for war crimes against Albanians in 1999. In February 2017, the sentence announced by the first-instance court was overturned and a new trial began. Ivanovic was under house arrest and in April 2017 he was released.