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Family of assassinated Serbian politician leave Kosovo — newspaper

The family of killed Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovic is leaving Kosovska Mitrovica and moving house to relatives’ in Belgrade

BELGRADE, January 17. /TASS/. The family of killed Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovic is leaving Kosovska Mitrovica and moving house to relatives’ in Belgrade, the late politician’s brother, Miroslav Ivanovic told Serbian daily Telegraf on Wednesday.

The decision to bury Ivanovic in Belgrade was taken within the family, he said.

"Our parents are buried in Podgorica after their wish. On this occasion, after the murder of Oliver, we sat down and we talked within our family. Since our family will be in Belgrade, and some already live there, it is easy to see where the desire came from, to keep him close to us, so we can visit his grave," the late politician’s brother was quoted by Telegraf.

According to Miroslav Ivanovic, Belgrade offered to bury Kosovo Serbs’ leader in the Alley of Meritorious Citizens and the proposal has weighed on the family’s decision.

Earlier, Serbian Trade, Tourism and Communications Minister Rasim Ljajic, a friend of the murdered politician, said that Ivanovic had been extremely devoted to the city of Kosovska Mitrovica and had opposed an idea of leaving it.

In one of the documentaries, Ivanovic explained his affection for Kosovska Mitrovica, "Why do Albanians want to take Mitrovica away from us? Simply because Mitrovica is the only one serious industrial city in Kosovo. It is the only chance of industrialization for them. Therefore, it is so important to stay and live here, no matter what."

Oliver Ivanovic, a leader of Kosovan Serbs and the head of the ‘Freedom, Democracy, Truth’ party, was gunned down on Tuesday morning while entering his party headquarters in Kosovska Mitrovica. Ivanovic was rushed to hospital with six gunshot wounds in the chest, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Representatives of international missions to Kosovo condemned Ivanovic’s murder and demanded bringing those responsible to justice as soon as possible. Russia said that the situation could bring about the atmosphere of terror and give rise to inter-ethnic conflicts in the region.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic described Ivanovic’s murder as a terror attack against the entire people of Serbia. Director of Serbia's government office for Kosovo Marko Juric said that the Serbian delegation was breaking off technical dialogue with Pristina in Brussels and returning to Belgrade.

Oliver Ivanovic will be buried at Belgrade’s Novo Groblje (New Cemetery) on Thursday, January 18. A coffin with Ivanovic’s body was delivered to Serbia’s capital a few hours ago and reposed in the cemetery church. Ivanovic was survived by his four underage sons.